February 28, 2011In 2010, doctors and staff from IFHHRO member Physicians for Human Rights (PHR-USA) worked with local human rights activists in Burma to uncover the government’s treatment of the isolated and vulnerable population of Chin State.
The results are devastating, PHR reports in Life under the Junta. The health and human rights organisation documented 2,951 abuses over a 12-month period. “We found that government authorities may have killed an estimated 1,000 household members, tortured 3,800 individuals and raped 2,800 adults and children. Almost every household reported being forced to do labor. This includes children, who were forced by government soldiers to carry military supplies, build roads, and sweep for landmines.”
PHR calls for an official Commission of Inquiry on Burma, whose mandate should be to investigate violations of human rights and humanitarian law and to identify perpetrators of such abuses. “A full investigation into alleged crimes against humanity would lay the groundwork not only for future prosecution of offenders”, the report states, “but also for the creation of a legal and judicial system well-equipped to ensure accountability domestically.”
IFHHRO supports PHR’s cause and calls upon all health and human rights organisations to ask their governments to demand a United Nations inquiry into the gross violations of human rights in Burma.
More information: Life under the Junta, PHR 2011, www.LifeUnderTheJunta.org