Moving from the Shadows: Law and SOGIE Rights in Myanmar's Democratic Transition

10 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2019

See all articles by David Gilbert

David Gilbert

Australian National University (ANU)

Nang Hsu Mon Thar

Colors Rainbow

Date Written: November 19, 2019


Myanmar has been undergoing a political transition since 2011, when a semi-civilian government came to power, implementing significant, albeit limited, democratic reforms. Despite initial optimism and increased civic space, successive governments have done little to address the legacy of colonial-era laws that repress gender and sexual minorities. This includes Section 377 of the Penal Code, criminalising homosexuality, and a law against ‘hiding in shadows’ that give broad powers to the police to arrest gender and sexual minorities who are in public places at night. In addition, gender and sexual minorities continue to struggle with social forms of stigma and abuse, the risks of which have increased with the rise of extremist forms of Buddhist nationalism. This article provides an overview of the current legal situation and key human rights challenges that sexual and gender minorities face in Myanmar.

Suggested Citation

Gilbert, David and Thar, Nang Hsu Mon, Moving from the Shadows: Law and SOGIE Rights in Myanmar's Democratic Transition (November 19, 2019). Australian Journal of Asian Law, 2019, Vol 20 No 1, Article 14: 187-195, Available at SSRN:

David Gilbert (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU)

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

Nang Hsu Mon Thar

Colors Rainbow ( email )

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