New Documentary Highlights Challenges Amid COVID-19 for Civilians in South-Eastern Myanmar

June 1, 2020

The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) has released a new documentary on the response to COVID-19 in southeastern Myanmar. The film titled, “Reflections on Grassroots Livelihoods During COVID-19” spotlights the challenges faced by farm laborers, returning migrant workers, and those living in remote areas and IDP villages. Many of the hardships experienced are a result of the area movement restrictions and lockdown decrees imposed by local governments and the New Mon State Party (NMSP).

“IDP villages and remote communities in these areas have been some of the hardest hit,” stated HURFOM Program Director Nai Aue Mon. “Government support and humanitarian aid agencies are unable to access these areas, and with the economic turn down in neighboring countries, thousands of Mon migrants are returning to their home communities and placed under mandatory quarantine.”

Many of these IDP and remote villages do not have the resources to feed and support them during this quarantine period, let alone provide villagers with personal protective equipment. HURFOM calls on government and humanitarian agencies to include these areas in relief packages and programmes, so that no one is left behind.

Since the beginning of April 2020, all areas in southeastern Ye and Yebyu townships in Mon State and Tenasserim Region have been rigorously locked down under movement control measures by local authorities and the NMSP over concerns of the spread of COVID-19.

Prevention and protection measures enacted by governments must consider the impacts on members of grassroots society, including those living in NMSP-controlled areas. Slowing the spread of the virus is imperative, but sp is upholding the rights and dignity of those who face the highest risk of being further marginalized by the pandemic. Particularly vulnerable groups include women, children, the elderly, migrants, IDPs, and those with disabilities.

This documentary provides a brief glimpse into the lives of local villagers during this lockdown period, while advocating for the donor community to assist these communities directly or through the NMSP and/or their COVID-19 Response Committees.

The documentary can be accessed here in both Burmese and English. A follow-up briefer will be released in the next several weeks.

For media enquiries:

Nai Bnyair Ogvon
Burmese & English  
+95 996 191 9757

Nai Byuhar Mon
Mon & Burmese
+95 979 859 1547

Nai Aue Mon
Mon, Burmese & English
+66 861 679 741



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