As the world watches the Myanmar military decimate the country’s Rohingya Muslim population, in northern Myanmar the military is fighting a war by other means. Across Kachin and northern Shan state, an estimated 120,000 people displaced by conflict are lacking food, shelter, and healthcare. As the conflict has intensified, the Government of Myanmar has tightened restrictions on groups working to defend human rights and provide aid to internally displaced persons in conflict-affected areas. Access to these areas is now more limited than at any point since the conflict in northern Myanmar resumed in 2011. The Myanmar military has called for aid to displaced persons in areas controlled by ethnic armed organizations to be stopped entirely.
In this talk, David Baulk, Myanmar human rights specialist with Fortify Rights, will discuss his research in conflict-affected areas of Kachin and northern Shan states, consider the implications of restrictions on humanitarian and human rights groups in Myanmar, and discuss what the international community can do to ensure the Government of Myanmar meets its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.