Woman and Child Rights Project
- To monitor the woman and child rights situation in Mon areas and southern part of Burma, by collecting information about their real situation in the reference to the CEDAW and CRC.
- To empower and educate women and children in the Mon community, by providing information on their rights accordingly to CEDAW and CRC and encourage them to participate in the struggle in protection of their own rights.
Assessment for Project Implementation:
The military regime, SPDC, ratified the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1997, and agreed to guarantee women’s rights in Burma. Similarly, the regime also ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991 and agreed to guarantee child rights in Burma.
After ratifying these two conventions, the SLORC and SPDC have always propagandized that they have followed according to conventions’ principles and fulfilled the rights of women and children in the whole country of Burma. They also formed a GONGO (Government Organization’s Non-Government Organization) with name “Myanmar Naing-ngan Mother and Child Care Association” (MNMCCA) and Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation (MWAF). The regime SPDC has controlled these organizations from back stage. They are not independent organizations and just a government control agencies and so that they could have not really improve for the rights of women and children accordingly to CEDAW and CRC.
However, the violations of woman and child rights committed by authorities and army is in on-going situation in many parts of Burma and terribly in ethnic territories – Shan State, Kayah State, Karen State, Mon State and Tenasserim Division. When the local government authorities or tatmadaw conscripts forced labour for development projects and their military purposes, they never select only able-bodied men, but take all people including women and children to the construction sites. Additionally, during the massive offensives launched by tatmadaw, women and children are also used as frontline civilian porters to carry ammunitions and food supplies for soldiers in the battlefields. In the rural “free fire zones” recognized by tatmadaw members, some women were raped and killed by soldiers, while many children are also conscripted for porter services and many children are forced to be soldiers.
On the other hand, the women and children in every area both rural and urban, have less access to proper medical care by both government and competent authorities. Although the regime and its GONGOs declared that they have been taking care and improving the health conditions of women and children in many parts of the country, many women and children in remote communities still face inadequate health care facilities, women especially do not receive information, counseling and service in health care, health education and family planning.
Although the regimes have propagandized in their controlled media that they have supported education facilities, by equipping classes computer system and other teaching support materials, actually they have collected every cost from the students. Parents could not afford to pay for schooling expenses and thus, many children lose their chance to continue their basic education in both urban and rural areas.
Due to the violations of the rights of women and children and additionally SPDC’s failure to uphold and socio-economics sector for women and their families, many women and children suffered as below:
- The dropout rate of students in schools are high and many children under ages or schooling ages engage in various hard labour employment and the number of worst use of child labour increased. (WCRP also produced a report on this issue)
- Nutrition situation among the children and women has been worst, since many families could not generate sufficient income due to lack of employment in Burma.
- Human rights violations and harassment against women and children created ‘population displacement’ and hundreds families fled from their home and have faced various problems of food shortage and insecurity during their displacement. Some families also migrated into Thailand illegally in order to seek works for their survival.
- Under the economic mis-management by military regime, most civilians in Burma have no employment for income and survival and so many of them, including young women have migrated into Thailand to seek works for regular income.
- During migration to neighboring countries like Thailand and Malaysia, the women and children are vulnerable to trafficking by cross-border traffickers. (Note: WCRP plans to have a report on this issue)
With well-minded objectives to monitor the rights of women and children accordingly to international principles or the articles mentioned in CEDAW and CRC, the regime should allow for the establishment of independent Women and Child Rights NGOs, and they should make alternative reports to CEDAW and CRC. However, the regimes have not allowed any independent organizations to monitor women and child rights. Therefore, it is a need for monitoring women and child rights from independent NGOs. On the other hand, many women should know about their rights and the rights of their children through educational workshops and publications.
- Production of Quarterly ‘The Plight’ Newsletter: News, Personal Account, Activities’ News and Reports on the Rights of Women and Children (in English language)
- A special report on the specific issue related on the rights of women and children: (Trafficking Women and Children in the Neighboring Countries)
- Women Journal (in Mon and Burmese languages)
- Woman and Child Rights Empowerment Workshop or Trainings
- Women Internship
- Advocacy and participation in the communities