Myanmar's Democracy Struggle: The Impact of Communal Violence Upon Rohingya Women and Youth
34 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 5, 2014
Since the end of military rule in 2011, the international community has rewarded Myanmar for perceived political and economic reforms. Still, Burma’s transition to democratic governance is beset with an unfortunate human rights record marred by state-sanctioned violence against members of its minority Rohingya Muslim population.
This article explores the conflict’s differential impact upon Muslim women and children. It argues that the group is experiencing human rights violations that are specific to their respective identities that have yet to be adequately recognized and addressed. These violations emanate from discriminatory population control regulations, gender based violence, human trafficking, hard labor and education inequality. Such a perspective has not yet been examined in legal scholarship and discourse.
The article further argues that official Burmese policies and normative practices targeting the country’s Muslim population continue to compromise local, regional and global security interests. To help protect these interests and prevent further human rights violations, the article proposes a number of related legal and policy recommendations, such as (a) amending the 1982 Citizenship Act, (b) engaging in public education campaigns to help dispel many of the myths that represent causal factors in anti-Muslim violence, (c) providing resources and support for victims of gender based violence and (d) exercising increased vigilance in identifying, investigating and prosecuting all those that facilitate human trafficking.
Keywords: International Law, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Genocide, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Statelessness, Burma, Myanmar, Human Rights Law, 1982 Citizenship Act
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