Refugee Sponsorship Training Program

Font resize

Myanmar/Burma

Overview of Burma (Myanmar) | Humanitarian situation | Protection of civilians | Persecuted populations | Canada’s humanitarian response to Myanmar (Burma) | Resettlement of Burmese in Canada | Essential sources | Culture

Overview of Burma (Myanmar)

Capital: Naypyidaw
Area: 678,500 km²
Population: 47,382,633 (2006 estimate)
Language(s): Burmese, others.
Religion(s): Buddhist – 89%, Christian – 4%, Muslim – 4%, animist – 1%, others – 2%.
Ethnic Group(s): Burman – 68%, Shan – 9%, Karen – 7%, Rakhine – 4%, Chinese – 3%, Indian – 2%, Mon – 2%, others – 5%.

Return to top

Humanitarian situation

About 241,000 displaced people – 77 per cent of whom are women and children – remain in camps or camp-like situations in Kachin, Kayin, Shan and Rakhine states. This includes approximately 92,000 people in Kachin, 15,000 in Shan and 5,600 in Kayin who remain displaced as a result of the armed conflict. It also includes about 129,000 people in Rakhine who were displaced as a result of the violence in 2012 and 2016. These deadly situations were precursors to even more violent organized attacks in 2017. In addition, there are particularly vulnerable non-displaced people, including young, elderly and disabled people who continue to require special attention and/or support as a result of armed conflict, statelessness, movement restrictions and malnutrition.

UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, 1 March 2017, A/HRC/34/67, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/58bd7ff94.html [accessed 21 February 2018].

Return to top

Protection of civilians

In Kachin and Shan, protection concerns from ongoing internal armed conflict include new and multiple displacement of civilians, reports of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including gender-based violence and grave violations against children. Humanitarian access, most recently for national staff, has dramatically deteriorated, hampering the work of humanitarian organizations and reducing affected people’s access to humanitarian assistance and protection services. In Rakhine, a large number of people from all communities have been affected by the violence, burning of villages and massive displacement that resulted from the 25 August 2017 attacks, and subsequent security operations in the northern part of the State. In central Rakhine, statelessness and the resulting lack of civil documentation, movement restrictions, lack of access to essential services (such as health and education), as well as other risks such as gender-based violence, human trafficking, family separation and physical insecurity, remain serious protection concerns, compounded by discrimination and segregation.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNHCR survey of Myanmar refugees finds health, safety worries, but community spirit strong, 19 December 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5a38ed7c0.html. [accessed 21 February 2018]

Return to top

Persecuted populations

Persecution of all Muslims in Myanmar on the rise, rights groups says, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-rohingya-muslims/persecution-of-all-muslims-in-myanmar-on-the-rise-rights-group-says-idUSKCN1BG0AT September 4, 2017 [accessed February 22, 2018].

Ethnic Rohingya, a largely Muslim minority, have faced decades of discrimination, repression and violence in Burma. Most have been denied Burmese citizenship for generations, an injustice enshrined in Burma’s 1982 Citizenship Law. They are one of the largest stateless populations in the world. The government of Burma denies that most Rohingya are Burmese, contending that they are migrants from Bangladesh. This though many Rohingya families have lived in Burma for generations, if not centuries. Large-scale ethnically motivated attacks against the Rohingya have occurred repeatedly since Burmese independence.

Return to top

Canada’s humanitarian response to Myanmar (Burma)

Interim Report of Special Envoy to Myanmar, Bob Rae. http://international.gc.ca/world-monde/issues_development-enjeux_developpement/response_conflict-reponse_conflits/crisis-crises/int_rep_mm-rap_prov_mm.aspx?lang=eng&_ga=2.58325993.235568783.1519334980-1237194952.1517429257 [accessed February 22, 2018].

Return to top

Resettlement of Burmese in Canada

“In the fall of 2006, Canada accepted the first group of 810 Karen refugees from Thailand. The majority of the Karen people lived in Myanmar, Burma, but they also comprised the largest of the Hill Tribes of northern and western Thailand, near the border with Myanmar. Political struggle and persecution resounded throughout Karen history. Canada continued to receive Karen refugees from Thailand and eventually resettled 3,900”

Canada’s refugee history. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/canadians/celebrate-being-canadian/teachers-corner/refugee-history.html.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNHCR Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2018, June 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5948ea944.html. [accessed 26 February 2018]

Return to top

Essential sources

Amnesty International, Mountain of Trouble: Human Rights Abuses Continue at Myanmar’s Letpadaung Mine, 10 February 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/589d806b4.html [accessed 21 February 2018].

Amnesty International, Myanmar: ‘Outrageous’ denial of access to top UN official, 20 December 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5a3d24a14.html [accessed 21 February 2018].

Burma-Complex Emergency, Fact sheet #2, Fiscal Year 2018 January 26, 2018 https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1866/burma_cr_fs02_rakhine_01-26-2018.pdf.

Human Rights Watch, Burma: Privacy Law Used to Prosecute Critics, 12 January 2018, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5a60c1074.html [accessed 21 February 2018].

United Kingdom: Home Office, Country Policy and Information Note – Burma: Critics of the Government, 12 March 2017, v 2.0, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/58c8fbd34.html [accessed 21 February 2018].

United Kingdom: Home Office, Country Policy and Information Note – Burma: Rohingya, November 2017, v 1.0, available at: http://www.refworld.or/docid/5a12e85f4.html [accessed 21 February 2018].

UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, 1 March 2017, A/HRC/34/67, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/58bd7ff94.html [accessed 21 February 2018].

United States Department of State, 2016 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – Burma, 3 March 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/58ec8a6113.html [accessed 21 February 2018].

Return to top

Culture

Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc.

Ethnologies Language Archive was begun in 1971 by the Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc., at the University of Oklahoma, and was continued at Cornell University. It is a catalogue of more than 6,700 languages spoken in 228 countries. For these reasons it matches perfectly with our information standards.
Ethnologue Language Archive

Myanmar.com

Myanmar.com is the ultimate guide to Myanmar. This site is a dynamic encyclopedia that is constantly updated and enhanced and it contains a vast amount of information about the country, its people and its beautiful tourist destinations.
Myanmar.com

The Centre for World Heritage

World Heritage is the designation for places on earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. The Centre for World Heritage is part of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Myanmar http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/mm/

The Mon Information Home Page

This home page, developed by George Aaron Broadwell from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Albany, provides information about the Mon people. There are several million Mon people in Burma and Thailand. Mon people are experiencing brutal repression at the hands of the Burmese government. Everyone concerned with human rights should be aware of the case of the Mon.

Mon History

Recent Mon History

Refugee Camps

Mon Political Organizations

Source : https://www.international.gc.ca/cil-cai/country_insights-apercus_pays/culture-culture_mm.aspx?lang=eng et https://www.international.gc.ca/cil-cai/country_insights-apercus_pays/culture-culture_mm.aspx?lang=fra

Return to top Return to Country Conditions Main Page