Reforms advocated by the ALTSEAN-BURMA for the realization of human rights

Publish Date: 
Thursday, April 21, 2016

In a detailed report, ESCR-Net member, ALTSEAN-BURMA, advocated for the reformation of Burma’s legal and policy framework to ensure transparent investment practices and human rights are respected by businesses operating in the country.  The report extrapolates that such measures need to be conflict sensitive, clearly address the impact of past abuses and provide concrete measures to protect human rights. 

The report is broken down into three distinct sections including extractive industries, corruption and the need for diligence, access to justice: previous government’s repression of land rights protests, compensation denied, and finally unfair land laws and military power.

The report elaborates on the state of Burma/Myanmar’s legal system that has enabled these human rights violations to perpetuate. Burma/Myanmar has a legacy of human rights violations linked to foreign investment and land acquisition for business activities, including large-scale development projects. A flawed and outdated legal framework, poor policy coherence, weak governance, rule of law deficiencies, and an exploitative and predatory approach to controlling natural resources have fueled human rights violations and armed conflict.

Despite a new government, ongoing military control and/or influence over key ministries remains a barrier to land reform. The legal framework for land acquisition violates international standards. Institutionalized impunity and discrimination, a lack of transparency, and corrupt and unregulated industries present a significant risk to local residents, as well as local and foreign investors.

As foreign direct investment increases in Burma, it is crucial that the new National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government tackles land acquisition as a priority policy issue.  As such, this policy paper summarizes business and human rights concerns in Burma/Myanmar, and highlights the need for reforms before appropriate human rights due diligence can be conducted. 

To read this report, click here.

To know more about ALTSEAN Burma, visit here