Myanmar - Human Rights

Human Rights

There is consensus that the military regime in Burma is one of the world's most repressive and abusive regimes. On November 9, 2012, Samantha Power, U.S. President Barack Obama's Special Assistant to the President on Human Rights wrote on the White House Blog in advance of the President's visit that "Serious human rights abuses against civilians in several regions continue, including against women and children." In addition, members of the United Nations and major international human rights organizations have issued repeated and consistent reports of widespread and systematic human rights violations in Burma. The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly called on the Burmese Military Junta to respect human rights and in November 2009 the General Assembly adopted a resolution "strongly condemning the ongoing systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms" and calling on the Burmese Military Regime "to take urgent measures to put an end to violations of international human rights and humanitarian law." International human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have repeatedly documented and condemned widespread human rights violations in Burma. The Freedom in the World 2011 report by Freedom House notes that "The military junta has... suppressed nearly all basic rights; and committed human rights abuses with impunity. The country more than 2,100 political prisoners included about 429 members of the NLD, the victors in the 1990 elections." They have claimed that there is no independent judiciary in Burma. Forced labour, human trafficking, and child labour are common. The military is also notorious for rampant use of sexual violence as an instrument of control, including allegations of systematic rapes and taking of sex slaves by the military, a practice which continued in 2012. In 2007 the international movement to defend women's human rights issues in Burma was said to be gaining speed.

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