Weekly Overview: Human Rights Situation in Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi Region

May 13, 2024

HURFOM, Second Week of May 2024

A weekly update by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) on the situation on the ground. Summary data includes Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi region.


Arbitrary arrests and abductions by the military junta continue to threaten the local livelihoods of innocent people. The surge in enforced disappearances comes amid the forced conscription enactment across the country. Since the Burma Army announced the People’s Service Law would go into effect, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) has found ongoing rights violations being perpetrated in target areas of Southeastern Burma.

HURFOM also released a new report: “Forced to Fight,” which documented deceitful tactics of the Burma Army in its forced conscription effort in Mon State, Karen State and the Tanintharyi region. Over the last week, the junta forcibly conscripted nearly 50 young men from Thanbyuzayat Township this weekend and sent them to the Thanbyuzayat (Wae Ka Li) Battalion for military training. On May 3rd, these young men, initially recruited at the No. 6 Education School close to the Southeastern Regional Military Command in Mawlamyine, were transferred to the Takaka-4 Tatmadaw Advanced Training School in Wae Ka Li village, Thanbyuzayat.

The recruitment tactics in Mawlamyine involve junta administrative members approaching migrant workers with monetary incentives and coercing locals into military service right at their homes. “The administration and the Immigration and Population Office are calling on residents to enlist. In their operations, eight people, including two who lead the efforts, are actively collecting population data,” a Mawlamyine resident reported.

Furthermore, households in Mawlamyine are being levied with a military service tax ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 kyats, depending on their income levels. Despite these efforts, the number of recruits for the second army service course in Mon State has fallen short of the junta’s targets.

Mon State’s Chief Minister, U Aung Kyi Thein, was seen greeting the recruits at the Thanbyuzayat camp and offering them some money as a token of encouragement. The recruitment drive continues aggressively, with the military junta demanding lists of potential young conscripts from officials of the Immigration and Population Office and local village administrators.

In Mon State, junta forces are increasingly targeting young individuals under various pretexts, leading to ongoing arbitrary arrests. These detentions often culminate in extortion, where the detained youths must pay to secure their release. Such practices have unjustly turned innocent individuals into victims of routine exploitation.

Moreover, there are alarming reports that some of these youths are being forcibly conscripted into military training programs against their will, a clear violation of their rights. This situation has also led to the forced recruitment of soldiers among the local population.

Currently, there are concerns about the disappearance of approximately four young individuals from Mottama and Paung areas, highlighting a disturbing trend of unaccounted detentions and potential forced conscription.


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