Photo: Martin Usborne

Burma

Priority Issues

  • Justice and Rule of Law
  • Land and Natural Resource Rights
  • Human Rights Education and Advocacy
  • Women's Rights

Began Program: 2013

Over the past few years, Burma’s nominally-civilian government has instituted a series of reforms that have been heralded as the beginning of a new era in the country’s development. Changes include the release of hundreds of political prisoners, long-time opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s entry into parliament, and some relaxation of media and press censorship. Countries including the United States and members of the European Union have restored diplomatic relations and suspended the majority of punitive sanctions. The government’s reforms, however, have proved limited in both scope and dependability, and human rights continue to be violated frequently as Burma remains one of the most challenging environments for advancing human rights education and protection.

“The training gave me the courage and spirit to move out from fear to fight for freedom and against human rights violations.”
Participant in “train the trainers” program of Fund grantee Human Rights Education Insitute of Burma

Our Strategy

In a country like Burma where legal and policy change are in a development phase, the Fund is supporting efforts to test existing rights protections and press the government for greater accountability and transparency for the most marginalized communities. Fund grantees are challenging state abuses by documenting systematic violence and rape of ethnic minority women, pressing for legal accountability and justice sector reform, filing legal cases on behalf of political detainees, researching and publishing reports on the human rights impacts of large scale oil and gas development projects, advocating at the international level on behalf of LGBTI people, working to secure protections for children in armed conflict, and expanding locally-rooted organizations’ capacity to apply international human rights standards within the country.