Joint Statement of the Kachin Organizations and Civil Society Groups Urge the United States Government to renew the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act
We, Kachin civilians and activists from 30 organizations are calling on President Obama, Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid to renew the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, which will expire at the end of July 2013.
It is urgently needed to maintain pressure on the Burmese government to stop its policies of military aggression, and to begin a political dialogue to end the civil war in Burma.
133 Ethnic Civil Society Organizations Express Concern and Reservation Regarding Foreign Military Engagement with the Burmese Military
(Sydney, London, Washington, DC) – Today, October 17, 2013, 133 civil society organizations, representing 15 of Burma’s ethnic nationalities, submitted a joint letter to President Barack Obama of the United States, Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott of the Commonwealth of Australia expressing great concern and reservation regarding their military engagement with the Burmese military. Along with details of human rights atrocities and ongoing conflict the Burmese military continues to perpetrate, the joint letter pens explicit preconditions that must be met prior to any military engagement and states the criteria for military engagement should it move forward.
A new report by Kachin women exposes how the Burmese government’s war against the Kachin has greatly increased the risk of human trafficking along the China-Burma border.
“Pushed to the Brink,” launched today by the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT), shows how the displacement of over 100,000 people over the past two years, lack of refugee protection and shortages of humanitarian aid have become significant new push factors fuelling the trafficking of Kachin women to China, already a long-standing problem.
KWAT’s report includes 24 cases of actual or suspected trafficking from Kachin border areas since the resumption of fighting in June 2011, mostly involving young women and girls displaced by the war, who have been tricked, drugged, raped, and sold to Chinese men or families as brides or bonded laborers for as much as 40,000 Yuan (about $6,500 USD) per person. Some ended up as far east as Shandong and Fujian provinces.
The Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) will launch a new report Pushed to the Brink, about how conflict and displacement is fuelling human trafficking in northern Burma at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand (FCCT) in Bangkok, Thailand.