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Laws, decrees, bills and regulations relating to land, property and planning (commentary)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "Housing, land and property rights in Burma - the current legal framework"
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: A compilation of all of the existing housing, land and property laws in Burma, plus commentary... "The deplorable human rights record of Burma’s military junta has been a key focus of international attention for many years. The military has ruled the country for half a century, and has presided over a collapse of the economy and of social services. At the same time, successive military regimes have perpetuated an almost feudal governance system – where the population is seen as a resource at the disposal of the rulers – that is in many respects unchanged since pre-colonial times. A combination of deliberate abuse, a general climate of impunity, and out-dated and ineffective social policies all contribute to a fundamental absence of basic human rights in this country of 55 million people. To date, the bulk of attention has focused on important questions of political prisoners, denial of basic freedoms, forced labour, forced displacement, as well as the other abuses related to the army’s brutal counter-insurgency policies. However, there are additional types of rights abuses that are not as frequently mentioned, but that have a critical impact on the daily lives of millions of people across Burma. And it is these – housing, land and property (HLP) rights – that form the contents of this important new book. This volume contains all of the existing housing, land and property laws in Burma, and makes a vital contribution to understanding the impact that these legal structures have on communities across the country. Being able to view the HLP legal code in its entirety for the first time reveals more clearly than ever before that supporters of democratic and governance reform within Burma need to better understand – and place greater emphasis on – HLP issues than they have to date. Understanding how these issues are dealt with in both law and practice will enable more creative thinking about Burma’s HLP future, in order that the peoples of the country can most fully enjoy their legitimate housing, land and property rights."
Author/creator: Scott Leckie and Ezekiel Simperingham (eds)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions, HLP Institute
Format/size: pdf (3.42MB) - 1255 pages
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2009

Title: Burma HLP Initiative
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: "Since its establishment in 2006, Displacement Solutions has been active in exploring the housing, land and property rights situation in Burma. The Burma HLP Initiative aims to shed new light on the numerous HLP rights issues in Burma today by building capacity for enforcing these rights by citizens of the country. The Initiative works together with various groups within and outside Burma towards these ends. The Initiative explores key questions such as: * What are the characteristics and status of the legal regime in Burma as it relates to HLP rights issues? * How effective is the current legal regime in promoting human rights standards relevant to HLP rights? What are the key issues facing the HLP rights regime in Burma? * In what ways can the legal code more effectively address HLP rights in Burma, and how might it be reformed to avoid problems in the future transition process? This will draw on the many experiences of political transition since the end of the Cold War. * How can the capacity of the Burmese democratic opposition be enhanced to structurally address the HLP legal environment in Burma today? How can expert capacity be strengthened to better prepare the broader democratic opposition to address the HLP challenges that will arise during and after political transition?..." THIS LINK CONTAINS A HYPERLINKED SET OF BURMESE HLP-RELATED LAWS
Language: English
Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010

Title: Displacement Solutions
Description/subject: NGO working on housing, land and property rights (HLP) http://mebel-it.com.ua/shkafyi/dlya-odezhdyi http://getenergy.ru/?page_id=10
Language: English
Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2009

Title: Results of a google search for agribusiness burma myanmar
Description/subject: About 326,000 results (December 2017)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Google
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013

Individual Documents

Title: Myanmar: Farmers Seek Return of Seized Land
Date of publication: 17 July 2018
Description/subject: "(Yangon) – The government of Myanmar should promptly provide redress for past illegal confiscations of land, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should also enact laws and regulations to safeguard the rights of farmers and other small landholders from future confiscations. Over the past 30 years, Myanmar government and military officials have seized vast swathes of land from farmers while providing them no or inadequate compensation, which denies them livelihoods and erodes access to basic services. Many farmers have faced criminal prosecution for protesting the lack of redress and refusing to leave or cease work on the land that was taken from them..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 August 2018

Date of publication: 08 February 2018
Description/subject: I. HOUSING, LAND AND PROPERTY ISSUES AND CONFLICT: CAUSE, CONSEQUENCE AND CURE... II. HLP ISSUES IN THE MYANMAR PEACE PROCESS AND HOW BEST TO ADDRESS THEM... III. PEACE AND POST-CONFLICT AGREEMENTS AND HLP ISSUES: A COUNTRY-BY- COUNTRY OVERVIEW... IV. CONCLUSIONS....."Any successful outcome to the peace process in Myanmar will invariably need to address the wide range of housing, land and property (HLP) rights issues that are central components in all of the unresolved conflicts in the country. At least superficially, there is growing evidence that various actors engaged in the peace process are increasingly recognising that the resolution of HLP rights issues will be critical towards building the foundations needed for the long-term peace and stability of the country. The agreement of ten key land and environment principles at the May 2017 Panglong 2 Summit by the government and ethnic negotiating armed ethnic groups provides an important basis for further agreement on HLP issues as the process unfolds. This paper aims to bolster this process by providing a brief overview of how HLP matters have been addressed in other peace processes throughout the world over the past 25 years, some of which may prove inspirational to peace negotiators in Myanmar. There is a wide range of experience about how and in which manner HLP issues have been included in peace agreements, and HLP issues are increasingly recognized for their multi-dimensional impacts upon conflict. Indeed, HLP issues can be the cause of conflict, a consequence of conflict, and an important means for securing a sustainable peace following conflict. HLP concerns and the human rights and other considerations attached to them are now widely agreed to form vital ingredients in the quest for long-term economic vitality and social stability following conflict. As a result, HLP issues are growing in prominence and are now viewed as key considerations in conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives... Despite the fact that virtually all recent major peace processes and post-conflict periods of reconstruction in other countries have sought to structurally address the severe HLP consequences of the conflict concerned, there is a significant risk in Myanmar that because of the deep vested interests attached to so many of them, HLP issues will be perceived as too sensitive or complex to be properly addressed in any eventual agreement. It is important, therefore, to foster awareness about HLP issues among those engaged in, or supporting , negotiations and planning for the post-conflict period. Without adequate preparation of all stakeholders involved in, or supporting, the negotiation process, a national level settlement may be undermined by local level HLP grievances and conflicts. In the alternative scenario, in which there is no national level agreement, an alternative strategy for sensitizing actors to HLP risks and opportunities will nonetheless be required..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Norwegian Refugee Council, Displacement Solutions
Format/size: pdf (466K-reduced version; 759K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://displacementsolutions.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/HLP-Rights-and-Peace-Agreements-Guidanc...
Date of entry/update: 08 February 2018

Title: LAND OF SORROW - Human rights violations at Myanmar’s Myotha Industrial Park
Date of publication: 27 September 2017
Description/subject: "Myanmar may soon face a land conflict epidemic as a result of the growing influx of investments and the consequent demand for land, unless laws and policies that adequately address land rights issues are urgently adopted and implemented. The Myotha Industrial Park typifies Myanmar’s current economic development model, which seeks to incentivize investment in areas designated as “least developed.” The Myotha Industrial Park, developed by the Burmese company Mandalay Myotha Industrial Development (MMID) in Ngazun Township, Mandalay Region, is a glaring example of how Myanmar’s rural communities suffer harmful consequences and receive little or no redress as a result of large-scale industrial projects. In the Myotha Industrial Park area, a combination of a flawed legal framework, unscrupulous authorities, and irresponsible investors produced a perfect storm in which more than 1,000 families from 14 villages lost their land – their sole source of livelihood – to make way for the project’s development..."
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: FIDH - N° 702a
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB)
Alternate URLs: https://www.fidh.org/%E1%80%99%E1%80%BC%E1%80%94%E1%80%BA%E1%80%99%E1%80%AC%E1%80%98%E1%80%AC%E1%80...
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2017

Date of publication: 13 September 2017
Description/subject: Burma is situated in Southeastern Asia, bordering Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. The majority of its population lives in rural areas and depends on land as a primary means of livelihood. Because all land in Burma ultimately belongs to the state, citizens and organizations depend upon use - rights, but do not own land. Burma’s laws grant women equal rights i n some respects and also recognize certain customary laws that provide women equal rights in relation to land. In practice, however, the rights of many women are governed by customs that do not afford them equal access to or control over land. Forcible and uncompensated land confiscation is a source of conflict and abuse in Burma, and protests and fear of “land grabs” have escalated as the state opens its markets to foreign investors and pursues policies to dramatically increase industrial agricultural prod uction. Burma has rich water, forest and mineral resources. However, a rapid expansion of resource extraction efforts in the past three decades has led to widespread land and water pollution, deforestation, community protests and forced relocation.
Language: English
Source/publisher: USAID
Format/size: pdf (595K)
Alternate URLs: https://www.land-links.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/USAID_Burma_Country_Profile_.pdf'>https://www.land-links.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/USAID_Burma_Country_Profile_.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 October 2017

Title: Our Customary Lands - Community-Based Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Burma
Date of publication: 05 July 2016
Description/subject: Executive summary: "In January 2016 the government adopted a National Land Use Policy, which included the recognition of customary land management practices. While this is a welcome first step in the necessary integration of Burma’s customary land management systems with the national-level system, there is an urgent need for constitutional reform and devolution of land management powers prior to any such integration. This report by the Ethnic Community Development Forum (ECDF) presents how Burma’s diverse customary land management systems in seven ethnic communities are structured, and provides ideas for how these systems could be supported and potentially integrated into a future devolved federal national land management system. Customary land management systems have co-existed with the national land management system in Burma for centuries. The national land management system is highly centralized and has facilitated widespread land grabbing for natural resource extraction and agribusiness projects, resulting in loss of livelihoods and environmental degradation throughout the country. Updated Land Laws adopted in 2012 were based on poorly defined land classification and despite some democratic reforms, the military maintains a central role in land management through the General Administration Department. Upland agricultural lands – mainly tilled by ethnic nationalities practicing shifting cultivation – are defined by law as either forest lands or as vacant, virgin and fallow lands. Lands defined as “vacant, virgin and fallow” are particularly problematic as these are designated for “State Economic Development” and contracted to extractive industries, agribusiness and infrastructure development projects. Customary land management systems have operated independently of the national government since colonial days and independence, due to lack of government access into remote ethnic areas and decades of civil war. In recent years, ethnic resistance governments in Karen and Mon States have developed their own land registration and management systems in order to protect the land rights and interests of ethnic farmers in areas governed by these ethnic governments. These systems, in contrast to the national land management systems, are decentralized and have evolved/adapted to local situations and needs, prioritizing sustainable livelihoods and environmental protection. The ECDF has conducted grassroots participatory research and issued publications on customary land systems in Burma’s ethnic states since 2014. This has included: conducting a household survey in 26 townships; commissioning a report on international experiences with customary land management systems; and facilitating participatory community research in order to document the land management systems in seven ethnic villages located in six states. Summary findings of this research include: a) Customary practices have been passed on for many generations and have sustained strong connections between villagers and their lands: Communities that are practicing customary land management have been living on their lands for many generations, passing their lands and traditions onto their children and grandchildren. Community members regard land as more than just a commodity which has no spiritual connection to the nature that has produced these resources. The administrative and cultural institutions that have arisen among ethnic groups over numerous generations of living on their lands are tied closely to the geographic features of their lands, as well as the experiences about how to best conserve surrounding natural resources in order to survive and prosper. Everyday customs and traditions, including the roles of those governing customary lands, are woven into the natural environment where communities are based and the corresponding worldview that community members have received from their ancestors. b) Customary practices provide sustainable environmental protection: Nearly all communities practicing customary land management reside in forests, and therefore are dependent upon the health of these forest lands for their survival and livelihoods. Customary communities have developed land use rules and regulations which have allowed sustainable use of the forest for food, shelter and medicine without endangering long-term ecological health. Villagers also preserve their natural resources by respecting the spirits of the trees, lakes, water resources, animals and lands on ‘auspicious’ days each year and through composing stories and poems in order to teach the new generations about protecting the community’s natural resources. Customary Land communities have established a number of land use zones (community forests, protected forests, reserved forests, use forests, watersheds, conservation areas and wildlife conservation zones) – each with explicit rules that regulate the use of the lands and natural resources. There is a wide range of classifi cations for these conservation areas. c) Customary practices provide self-reliant and ecologically sustainable livelihoods: A vast majority of community needs are produced or collected from local lands, forests and waters. Apart from organized production of foods – through lowland and hillside agriculture as well as livestock breeding – forest resources provide supplementary foods (wild fruits, vegetables and animals); materials for housing and clothes; and herbal medicines. These communities have regulations that prioritize ecologically sustainable, equitable and needs-based production rather than extraction for sales and profit. d) Customary practices provide local communities with eff ective decentralized and participatory governance and judiciary systems: Governance, judiciary and administrative systems exist in the communities that have evolved over generations and are both participatory and resilient. Community members view the rules and regulations as their own, and therefore adhere to them much more closely than a set of regulations imposed upon them by outsiders. Elected village committees (including specific committees for land, water and forest management) update, arbitrate and enforce village land regulations. Important decisions are made with the participation of a majority of the villagers. Customary land management systems are holistic and incorporate all lands, waterways and forests within specified village boundaries. Customary land management structures and policies have been integrated nationally in countries on every continent. International institutions – including the World Bank – have stated the effectiveness and effi ciency advantages of communal and customary tenure over formal individual titles. The World Bank has also urged caution about state-led intervention in land tenure systems, suggesting building on existing systems. Protection and recognition of ethnic customary land management systems is an important component in achieving sustainable peace and must be enshrined in a future federal constitution and decentralized legal framework – one example of this is outlined at the end of this report. In order to protect these lands and systems until peace accords, constitutional amendments and new land legislation formalizing these systems have been fi nalized, there should be a moratorium on land acquisition in areas where customary land management systems are being implemented or were implemented before displacement due to armed conflicts."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ethnic Community Development Forum
Format/size: pdf (9.1MB-reduced version; 13.2MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ecdfburma.org
Date of entry/update: 05 July 2016

Title: Understanding How the Legal Framework in Myanmar Currently Supports Recognition of Shifting Cultivation Tenure Arrangements
Date of publication: 17 June 2016
Description/subject: Land Core Group Shifting Cultivation Meeting Yangon, Myanmar 17 June 2016 .....Legal Framework = Tools in a Toolbox...Where to start? Constitution...What tools exist in various laws?...Association Registration Law...Farmland Law (Strengths)...Farmland Law (Weaknesses)...Forest Law and CFI (Strengths)...Forest Land and CFI (Weaknesses) ...Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land (VFV) Law ...Need for a new tool...
Author/creator: Robert Burton Oberndorf, JD
Language: English
Source/publisher: USAID Land Tenure Project
Format/size: pdf (81K)
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2016

Title: Formalisation of land rights in Myanmar
Date of publication: 11 February 2016
Description/subject: Documents and analyses on land tenure in Burma/Myanmar..... "1.Reconcile legality and legitimacy through clear legal recognition of existing acknowledged rights, whatever their origin (customary or statutory) or nature (individual or collective, temporary or permanent). 2.Initiate widespread debate on the choice of society that the land policies will serve (and target), the opportunities for formalisation, how it will be implemented and its possible alternatives. 3.Build consensus between all the actors concerned (central and local governments, local people, the land administration, professionals in the sector), and sustain the political will needed to implement formalisation procedures. 4.Define a realistic implementation strategy which recognises the vital importance of establishing effective and transparent governance and/or administration of land rights. 5.Progressive implementation that leaves room for learning, experimentation and adjustment. 6.Ensure from the outset that the land services will be financially viable, and put in place mechanisms to fund them."
Author/creator: Celine Allaverdian
Language: English
Source/publisher: GRET (Groupe de Recherche et d'Echanges Technologiques)
Format/size: pdf (542K-reduced version; 1.1MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/GRET-2016-03-11-Formalisation_of_land_rights_in_Myanmar-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2016

Title: Land and Law in Myanmar: A Practitioners Perspective Workshop - Report and Recommendations (English/ Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 16 July 2015
Description/subject: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS:- (1) TO MYANMAR LAWYERS: "a. Lawyers need to form strong networks and associations to support farmers, ethnic groups and community organizations... b. Lawyers need to develop new skills to participate in policy advocacy, including collecting data about current practices, and engage in a national debate about land rights... c. Lawyers working on land rights cases need to use all available tools to strengthen their case work (see annex 2 for a list of practical actions lawyers can take)..... (2) TO CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS: a. CSO’s need to work with lawyers to understand the law regarding land ownership and use, how it is being applied and how it can be used to protect land rights and should share this knowledge with communities... b. CSOs should be involved in collecting evidence of the current relationships between communities and land; this will be essential for developing good policies and new laws..... (3) TO INTERNATIONAL DONORS: a. Donors must look beyond the letter of the law and information produced by the government to explore how laws are currently being applied and how the legal system operates in practice. Many challenges faced by lawyers working on land rights cases would not require legal reform to correct; international donors should demand immediate changes to remove some of the existing barriers to justice... b. International donors must translate information relating to land rights into Burmese as a minimum. Understanding of these issues and ongoing reform processes within Myanmar is currently very limited, with residents of Yangon and other cities able to access information far easier than people in rural areas; efforts need to be made to address geographic and ethnic differences in understanding."
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Myanmar Lawyers Network; Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Format/size: pdf (316K-English; 824K-Burmese (page image only; 960K-text under image; doc-728K-Burmese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs22/MLC&AHRC-2015-07-Land_and_Law_Report-bu-tu.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 April 2016

Title: Are the Odds for Justice ‘Stacked Against’ Them? Challenges and Opportunities to Securing Land Claims by Smallholder Farmers in Myanmar
Date of publication: May 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "In 2012, the Government of Myanmar (GoM) passed the Farmland Law and the Vacant, Fallow, Virgin (VFV) Land Law—creating a formalized land market. In essence, this created a formalized land market. Land titling is often considered “the natural end point of land rights formalization” (Hall et al. 2010: 35). This thinking has become dominant among most governments and development agencies ever since De Soto (2000) popularized it in The Mystery of Capital , in which he argued that the developmental successes of the West has relied on a strong legally-enforceable institution of property rights, without which assets, particularly land, would become “dead capital.” In reality, there are at least two major obstacles in achieving this in Myanmar. The first is around the legacy of multiple regimes in creating “stacked laws” (Roquas 2002). This term refers to a situation in which a country has multiple layers of laws that exist simultaneously, creating conflicts and contradictions in the legal system, as well as challenges to creating a well-regulated land market envisioned by the Myanmar state with the passage of the two land laws. The second obstacle has to do with the fact that like many countries in the world, access to legal justice in Myanmar is dependent on one’s access to different material, social and political resources—directly to a history of patron-clientelism. Through a number of select case studies, this paper seeks to provide preliminary reflections on the following question: In Myanmar, a country with a porous legal framework, how do smallholder farmers engage with the law, and where relevant, informal norms to strengthen legitimacy of their claims to land against confiscations? This paper seeks to contribute to the literature on agrarian rural movements by focusing specifically on the way farming communities in Myanmar engage with the law, while paying attention to the complications they face when they engage with legal institutions that are porous and ‘stacked’—a phenomena that is common to many countries in the early phases of rural democratization...... Keywords: stacked laws, patron-client relationships, legal justice, legal engagement"
Author/creator: SiuSue Mark
Language: English
Source/publisher: BRICS Initiatives for Critical Agrarian Studies (BICAS)
Format/size: pdf (358K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/CMCP_57-Mark.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 December 2015

Title: Land Acquisition Law and Practice in Myanmar
Date of publication: May 2015
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Land acquisition issues and resultant land disputes of various types are some of the most controversial, contentious and vexing issues at play in the evolving political and economic landscape of today's Myanmar. Few issues are discussed more fervently and frequently than issues relating to the critical question of land; who owns it, who controls it, who may seek to acquire it, disputes over it, and who is to be potentially removed from it. Innumerable recent reports indicate three overarching trends concerning the scale of land acquisition in Myanmar: (1) Large tracts of land were compulsorily acquired and conceded during the past several decades of military rule that spanned 1962-2011; (2) Additional large tracts of land have been alienated since the present government took power in 2011; and (3) Yet further large tracts of land are currently threatened with confiscation in coming years.2 2. As the political reform process begins to slow in the run-up to the planned 2015 national elections, and as the economy continues to liberalize within a legal and regulatory environment which remains disproportionately skewed in favor of State and business interests, it is clear that law is incapable in its present form of adequately protecting the full spectrum of land-related rights of ordinary citizens and communities. In addition, land registration and record keeping remains extremely poor.3 This is particularly so given the fact that farmers threatened with displacement have only what are effectively user-rights.4 These circumstances in turn lays the groundwork for potential land disputes which can have significantly negative impacts on business activities. The land sphere is increasingly seen as one of the most visible sectors of society where a collusion of economic and political elites linked to the government, military and the corporate sector find a continuing source of power and control. Arguably, given their largely inequitable, top-down and non-transparent nature, these developments place deeper and longerterm democratic reforms at considerable risk, and rather than constituting a boost to overall economic performance in the country, in fact, may undermine economic, political and social progress in this regard. At the individual company level, the legal and political basis for land relations in Myanmar can pose the very real prospect of land disputes that may undermine investment opportunities...".....This entry also has a link to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards - not in the DS study.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
Format/size: pdf (301K-reduced version; 561K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://displacementsolutions.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/LAND-ACQUISITION-LAW-AND-PRACTICE-IN-MY...
Date of entry/update: 21 June 2015

Title: Midnight Intrusions - Summary & Recommendations ညဥ္႕နက္သန္းေခါင္ခ်င္းနင္း၀င္ေရာက္ျခင္းမ်ား-ဧည့္စာရင္းအဆုံးသတ္ေရး
Date of publication: 19 March 2015
Description/subject: á€¡á€€á€ºá€¥á€¹á€¸á€á€ºá€³á€•á€¹ ၂၀၁၁ ခုႏွစ္တြင္ ဦးသိန္းစိန္ သမၼတျဖစ္လာၿပီးေနာက္၊ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ၏ ႏိုင္ငံေရးႏွင့္ စီးပြားေရး ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲမႈမ်ားသည္ ႏိုင္ငံ၏အနာဂတ္အတြက္ ႀကီးမားေသာလြတ္လပ္မႈမ်ား မႀကံဳစဖူးေသာ အေကာင္းျမင္မႈမ်ားသို႔ ဦးတည္ခဲ့ပါသည္။ သို႔ရာတြင္ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံတစ္၀န္းရွိ လူ႔အသိုုက္အ၀န္းမ်ားတြင္၊ အာဏာပိုင္မ်ားသည္ ဖိႏွိပ္ေသာဥပေဒမ်ားကို ဆက္လက္က်င္႔သံုးေနၿပီး၊ ယခင္စစ္အစိုးရမ်ား လက္ထက္တြင္ က်င့္သံုးေနက်ကိုသာ ဆက္လက္အသံုးခ်လ်က္ ရွိပါသည္။ ၿမိဳ႕ျပႏွင့္ ေက်းလက္ေတာနယ္၊ ျမန္မာဗုဒၶဘာသာႏွင့္ လူနည္းစုမ်ား၊ ခ်မ္းသာသူႏွင့္ ဆင္းရဲသူ အပါအ၀င္ ျဖစ္ေသာ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံတြင္ ေနထိုင္သူအားလံုးသည္ ၂၀၁၂ ခုႏွစ္ ရပ္ကြက္ သို႔မဟုတ္ ေက်းရြာအုပ္စု အုပ္ ခ်ဳပ္ေရးဥပေဒ အရ ညဥ္႕အိပ္ညဥ္႕ေန အိမ္တြင္တည္းခိုသူမ်ားကို ရပ္ကြက္ သို႔မဟုတ္ ေက်းရြာအုပ္စု အုပ္ ခ်ဳပ္ေရးမွဴးအျဖစ္ တာ၀န္ထမ္းေဆာင္ေနေသာ အစိုးရအရာရွိမ်ားထံ တိုင္ၾကားရန္လိုအပ္ပါသည္။ စင္စစ္ အားျဖင့္ ေဒသခံမ်ားသည္ ညဥ္႕အိပ္ညဥ္႕ေနတည္းခိုမည္႕သူမ်ားကို လက္ခံႏိုင္ရန္ ႏိုင္ငံေတာ္မွ ခြင့္ျပဳခ်က္ ရယူရန္လိုအပ္ပါသည္၊ အာဏာပိုင္မ်ားကလည္း အေၾကာင္းမ်ိဳးစံုျပၿပီး ျငင္းပယ္ႏိုင္ေၾကာင္းသိရွိရပါသည္။ ျမန္မာအာဏာပိုင္မ်ားသည္ မၾကာခဏႏွင့္ ပံုမွန္ဆိုသလို အိမ္ေထာင္စုမ်ားကိုစစ္ေဆးျခင္းျဖင္႔ တည္း ခိုသူမ်ားကိုတိုင္ၾကားရန္လိုအပ္ခ်က္ကို လိုက္နာေၾကာင္း ေသခ်ာေစပါသည္။ ရပ္ကြက္ သို႔မဟုတ္ ေက်းရြာအုပ္စု အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ေရးဥပေဒသည္ အရာရွိမ်ားအား ပုဂၢလိကေနအိမ္မ်ားကို ၀င္ေရာက္ရန္ႏွင့္ “တရား ဥပေဒစိုးမိုးေရးႏွင့္ စည္းကမ္းထိန္းသိမ္းေရးအတြက္ စစ္ေဆးရန္လိုအပ္ေသာေနရာမ်ားကို အခါအား ေလ်ာ္စြာစစ္ေဆးရန္” အကန္႔အသတ္မရွိ အခြင့္အာဏာေပးထားပါသည္။ ဤျပဌာန္းခ်က္က ခြင့္ျပဳထား ေသာ အခြင့္အာဏာအရ ရပ္ကြက္ႏွင့္ ေက်းရြာအုပ္စု အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ေရးမွဴးမ်ားသည္ ထံုးစံအတိုင္း ဤစစ္ေဆးမႈ မ်ားကို ညဥ္႕နက္ေသာ အခါက်မွ ရဲ သို႔မဟုတ္ ေထာက္လွမ္းေရးအရာရွိမ်ား၊ အျခားသူမ်ားႏွင့္အတူ ဧည္႔စာရင္းတိုင္ၾကားျခင္းမရွိေသာ ဧည္႔သည္မ်ားရွိ မရွိကို စစ္ေဆးရန္အေၾကာင္းျပ၍ ျပဳလုပ္ၾကပါသည္။ ဤခ်င္းနင္း၀င္ေရာက္ျခင္းမ်ားျပဳလုပ္သည္႔ အခ်ိန္ကိုေထာက္ရႈ၍ ေဒသခံမ်ားသည္ ထိုအေလ့အက်င့္ကို “ညဥ္႕နက္ သန္းေခါင္စစ္ေဆးမႈမ်ား” ဟုရည္ညႊန္းေျပာဆိုၾကပါသည္
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Fortify Rights
Format/size: pdf (962K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/FR-2015-03-Midnight_Intrusions-summary-bu.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2015

Title: On The Land We Live - A film about land reform in Myanmar (video)
Date of publication: 17 March 2015
Description/subject: Documentary by the Land Core Group Myanmar, where 70% of the Myanmar population are smallholder farmers, about the challenges faced by poor farmers from land grabbing and land dispossession in rural Myanmar...Interviews with land activists and dispossessed farmers in different parts of the country... sections on: resistance to land-grabbing; Myanmar land law and policies (where customary tenure and women's land rights are not explicitly recognised); efficiency of smallholder practice...
Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (English voice-over and subtitles)
Source/publisher: Land Core Group of the Food Security Working Group
Format/size: Adobe Flash (20 minutes)
Alternate URLs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xztU_f6QsrU&feature=youtu.be
Date of entry/update: 18 March 2015

Title: â€˜Ancestral’ lands to be protected under draft policy
Date of publication: 05 December 2014
Description/subject: "Unregistered ancestral lands and those under shifting cultivation will be protected under draft policy and protected from confiscation under under a draft land use policy, a change land rights groups say would be a major step forward for tenure security."
Author/creator: Sandar Lwin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 December 2014

Title: This land isn’t your land
Date of publication: 10 November 2014
Description/subject: "The people of Myanmar do not hold absolute property rights – a fact which has remained true, though meant different things, through the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial eras."
Author/creator: Wade Guyitt
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 December 2017

Title: Global Witness submission on Myanmar’s draft national land policy (Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: November 2014
Description/subject: á‚á€¯á€­á€á€„္ဘာလ ၂၀၁၄ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ၏ အမ်ိဳးသားေျမအသံုးခ်မႈမူဝါဒမူၾကမ္းႏွင့္ပတ္သက္၍ Global Witness ၏ အဆုိျပဳလႊာအႏွစ္ခ်ဳပ္ ဒီမုိကေရစီႏုိင္ငံအျဖစ္ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲမႈမ်ားျပဳလုပ္ရာတြင္ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံအစုိးရသည္ အမ်ိဳးသားေျမအသံုးခ်မႈမူဝါဒမူၾကမ္းကုိ ၂၀၁၄ ခုႏွစ္ ေအာက္တုိဘာလတြင္ထုတ္ျပန္ခဲ့ၿပီး ျပည္သူလူထုႏွင့္ တုိင္ပင္ေဆြးေႏြးရန္ေနာက္ဆက္တြဲေျမယာဥပေဒတစ္ခုအတြက္ အစီအစဥ္မ်ားကုိလည္းထုတ္ျပန္ခဲ့ပါသည္။ ထုိသုိ႔ေဆာင္ရြက္ျခင္းသည္ အလြန္အေရးၾကီးသည့္လုပ္ေဆာင္ခ်က္ျဖစ္ၿပီး Global Witness အေနျဖင့္ ေျမႏွင့္ပတ္သက္ၿပီးခုိင္မာေသာဥပေဒျပ႒ာန္းမႈဆိုင္ရာမူေဘာင္ႏွင့္ ျပည္သူလူထုပါဝင္လာႏုိင္မည့္အခြင့္အေရးမ်ားအတြက္ အလားအလာမ်ားကို လက္ကမ္း ၾကိဳဆုိပါသည္။ သုိ႔ေသာ္ အလြန္အေရးၾကီးသည္မွာ ထုိသုိ႔ေသာ တုိင္ပင္ေဆြးေႏြးမႈသည္ အဓိပၸါယ္ရွိရမည္ျဖစ္ၿပီး စစ္မွန္စြာပါဝင္ေဆာင္ရြက္ျခင္းျဖစ္ရမည္။ ထုိ႔ေနာက္ ရရွိလာေသာတုန္႔ျပန္ခ်က္မ်ားကုိ ေျမအသံုးခ်မႈမူဝါဒႏွင့္ ေျမ အသံုးခ်မႈဥပေဒတုိ႔တြင္ အျပည့္အဝပြင့္လင္းျမင္သာမႈျဖင့္ ေပါင္းစပ္ထည့္သြင္းရမည္ျဖစ္သည္။ ထုိ႔အျပင္ အၿပီးသတ္ေျမအသံုးခ်မႈမူဝါဒႏွင့္ ေနာက္ဆက္တြဲေျမအသံုးခ်မႈဥပေဒတုိ႔သည္ ခုိင္ခံ့ရမည္ျဖစ္သည့္အျပင္ အျပည္ျပည္ဆုိင္ရာအေျခခံစံႏႈန္းမ်ားျဖင့္ ကုိက္ညီသင့္သည္။ အထူးသျဖင့္ ေျမ၊ ငါးလုပ္ငန္းႏွင့္ သစ္ေတာမ်ားဆိုင္ရာလုပ္ပုိင္ခြင့္အေပၚ တာဝန္သိေသာ အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္မႈႏွင့္ပတ္သက္သည့္ ကုလသမဂၢ၏ေစတနာအေလ်ာက္လမ္းညႊန္ခ်က္မ်ား(UN Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests) ႏွင့္ ကုိက္ညီသင့္သည္။
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: pdf (301K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.globalwitness.org/sites/default/files/library/Feedback%20on%20Myanmar%20draft%20national...
Date of entry/update: 02 January 2015

Title: Global Witness submission on Myanmar’s draft national land policy (English)
Date of publication: November 2014
Description/subject: Summary: "As part of its transition to democratic reform, in October 2014, the Government of Myanmar released a draft national land policy and plans for a subsequent Land Law, for public consultation. The importance of this cannot be understated and Global Witness welcomes both the potential for a strong codified framework for land, and the opportunity for public participation. It is crucial, however, that consultation is meaningful and genuinely participatory, and the resulting feedback is incorporated into the policy and Land Law in a process that is fully transparent. What’s more, the final land policy and subsequent land law should be robust and in line with international standards, most notably, the UN Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests1. The guiding principles of the draft national land policy state that its objectives are to ‘benefit and harmonize the land use, development and environmental conservation of the land resources of the State, to protect the land use right of the citizens and to improve land administration system.’ This aim is extremely welcome as an essential step in achieving the urgently needed reforms in the country’s land governance. However what is notably absent from the policy is a clear roadmap of priorities to be addressed: genuine sustainable development should prioritise the land and user rights, livelihoods and food security of its population, followed by participatory land-use mapping to help guide decisions around the management and use of land. Only then should an assessment be made of what is required in terms of land investments and what, if any, areas of land should be allocated for commercial investment purposes. In its current form, however, the draft land policy makes no reference to poverty alleviation or food security, and instead appears to be openly promoting commercial investment in large-scale projects, potentially at the expense of Myanmar’s rural smallholders – the majority of the population. The draft land policy has come under criticism for being pro-business; however, industry should still remain cautious about the reforms being proposed. In its current form, the draft policy presents an uncertain legal landscape which requires much clarification, particularly on several contradictory articles on how land and user rights will be protected. Insecure land and user rights can present a financial risk to both governments and companies as demonstrated through recent research at the global level: both The Munden Project2 - a global think-tank working on finance and sustainability - and the international coalition group Rights and Resources Initiative have demonstrated the financial risk to both governments and businesses associated with land investments in countries where tenure rights are unclear through a number of global case studies. It is therefore recommended that the Government of Myanmar, with the assistance of its development partners, revise the current draft of the land policy to ensure it has clear aims and objectives, and is based on international standards in particular, the UN Voluntary Guidelines of the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: pdf (393K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/Global_Witness-2014-Feedback_on_draft_national_land_policy-en.pdf
Date of entry/update: 02 January 2015

Date of publication: June 2014
Description/subject: "...Through research on Myanmar, we argue that in authoritarian settings where legality has drastically declined, the starting point for cause lawyering lies in advocacy for law itself, in advocating for the regular application of law’s rules. Because this characterization is liable to be misunderstood as formalistic, particularly by persons familiar with less authoritarian, more legally coherent settings than the one with which we are here concerned, it deserves some brief comments before we continue...By insisting upon legal formality as a condition of transformative justice, cause lawyers in Myanmar advocate for the inherent value of rules in the courtroom, but also incrementally build a constituency in the wider society. In advocating for faithful application of declared rules, in insisting on formal legality in the public domain, lawyers encourage people to mobilize around law as an idea, essential for making law meaningful in practice. They promote a notion of the legal system as once more an arena in which citizens can set up interests that are not congruent with those of the state; an arena in which cause lawyering is made viable and in which the cause lawyer has a distinctive role to play..." Includes description and discussion of the Kanma land-grab case.....The digitised version may contain errors so the original is included an an Alternate URL.
Author/creator: Nick Cheesman, Kyaw Min San
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wisconsin International Law Journal
Format/size: pdf (226K-digitised version; 1.6MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs19/Cheesman_KMS__Not_just_defending-orig.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 August 2014

Title: MIDNIGHT INTRUSIONS - Ending Guest Registration and Household Inspections in Myanmar (English)
Date of publication: 19 March 2014
Description/subject: SUMMARY: "Since President Thein Sein came to power in 2011, political and economic reforms in Myanmar have led to greater freedoms and unprecedented optimism for the country’s future. However, in communities throughout Myanmar, authorities continue to apply repressive laws and employ practices common under previous military regimes. The Ward or Village Tract Administration Law requires all residents of Myanmar—urban and rural, Burman Buddhists and minorities, rich and poor—to report the identity of overnight houseguests to government officials serving as ward or village tract administrators. In effect, residents need permission from the state to host overnight guests—and authorities are known to deny guest registration for a variety of reasons. Myanmar authorities ensure compliance with the guest registration requirement by conducting periodic household inspections. The Ward or Village Tract Administration Law empowers officials to inspect “the places needed to examine for prevalence of law and order and upholding the discipline [sic] ,” effectively giving them unfettered authority to enter private residences. Under the authority granted by this provision, ward or village tract administrators typically carry out household inspections late at night with police or intelligence officers and others, ostensibly to determine if unregistered guests are present. Given the timing of these intrusions, many residents refer to the practice as “midnight inspections”. Additionally, individuals who lack adequate documentation or citizenship status in Myanmar face challenges hosting or staying as overnight guests. For example, individuals who are unable to obtain household registration documents are typically required to regularly report themselves to the state as guests in their own homes, often on a weekly basis. The provisions of the Ward or Village Tract Administration Law related to the guest registration requirement and its enforcement impinge on various human rights, including the right to privacy and rights to freedom of movement, residency, and association. The guest registration requirement represents a systematic and nationwide breach of privacy, giving the government access to troves of personal data from communities across the country. Evidence collected by Fortify Rights also suggests that the law is particularly enforced against low-income communities, individuals working with civil society organizations, and political activists..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Fortify Rights
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB-reduced version; 1.24MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fortifyrights.org/downloads/FR_Midnight_Intrusions_March_2015.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2015

Title: The scramble for the Waste Lands: Tracking colonial legacies, counterinsurgency and international investment through the lens of land laws in Burma/Myanmar
Date of publication: 2014
Description/subject: "This article traces the revenue category and legal concept of the Waste Land in Burma/Myanmar from its original application by the British colonial apparatus in the nineteenth century, to its later use in tandem with Burma Army counterinsurgent tactics starting in the 1960s, and finally to the 2012 land laws and current issues in international investment. This adaptation of colonial ideas about territorialization in the context of an ongoing civil war offers a new angle for under- standing the relationship between military tactics and the political economy of conflict and counterinsurgent strategies which crucially depended on giving local militias—both government and nongovernment—high degrees of autonomy. The recent government changes, including the more civilian representation in parliament and its shift to engage with Western economies, raise questions regarding the future of the military, as well as local autonomy and the rural peasantry’s access to land. As increasing numbers of international investors are poised to enter the Myanmar market, this article will revisit notions of land use and appropriation, and finally the role of the army and its changing relationship with Waste Lands... Keywords: Burma, colonialism, counterinsurgency, land law, Myanmar, Waste Land
Author/creator: Jane M. Ferguson
Language: English
Source/publisher: Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 35 (2014) 295–31
Format/size: pdf (460K)
Date of entry/update: 01 January 2015

Title: The politics of the emerging agro-industrial complex in Asia’s ‘final frontier’ - The war on food sovereignty in Burma
Date of publication: 03 September 2013
Description/subject: "Burma's dramatic turn-around from 'axis of evil' to western darling in the past year has been imagined as Asia's 'final frontier' for global finance institutions, markets and capital. Burma's agrarian landscape is home to three-fourths of the country's total population which is now being constructed as a potential prime investment sink for domestic and international agribusiness. The Global North's development aid industry and IFIs operating in Burma has consequently repositioned itself to proactively shape a pro-business legal environment to decrease political and economic risks to enable global finance capital to more securely enter Burma's markets, especially in agribusiness. But global capitalisms are made in localized places - places that make and are made from embedded social relations. This paper uncovers how regional political histories that are defined by very particular racial and geographical undertones give shape to Burma's emerging agro-industrial complex. The country's still smoldering ethnic civil war and fragile untested liberal democracy is additionally being overlain with an emerging war on food sovereignty. A discursive and material struggle over land is taking shape to convert subsistence agricultural landscapes and localized food production into modern, mechanized industrial agro-food regimes. This second agrarian transformation is being fought over between a growing alliance among the western development aid and IFI industries, global finance capital, and a solidifying Burmese military-private capitalist class against smallholder farmers who work and live on the country's now most valuable asset - land. Grassroots resistances increasingly confront the elite capitalist class' attempts to corporatize food production through the state's rule of law and police force. Farmers, meanwhile, are actively developing their own shared vision of food sovereignty and pro-poor land reform that desires greater attention.... Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.
Author/creator: Kevin Woods
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
Format/size: pdf (593K)
Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013

Title: Bridging the HLP Gap - The Need to Effectively Address Housing, Land and Property Rights During Peace Negotiations and in the Context of Refugee/IDP Return
Date of publication: 02 June 2013
Description/subject: Bridging the HLP Gap - The Need to Effectively Address Housing, Land and Property Rights During Peace Negotiations and in the Context of Refugee/IDP Return: Preliminary Recommendations to the Government of Myanmar, Ethnic Actors and the International Community.....Executive Summary: "Of the many challenging issues that will require resolution within the peace processes currently underway between the government of Myanmar and various ethnic groups in the country, few will be as complex, sensitive and yet vital than the issues comprising housing, land and property (HLP) rights. Viewed in terms of the rights of the sizable internally displaced person (IDP) and refugee populations who will be affected by the eventual peace agreements, and within the broader political reform process, HLP rights will need to form a key part of all of the ongoing moves to secure a sustainable peace, and be a key ingredient within all activities dedicated to ending displacement in Myanmar today. The Government Myanmar (including the military) and its various ethnic negotiating partners – just as with all countries that have undergone deep political transition in recent decades, including those emerging from lengthy conflicts – need to fully appreciate and comprehend the nature and scale of the HLP issues that have emerged in past decades, how these have affected and continue to affect the rights and perspectives of justice of those concerned, and the measures that will be required to remedy HLP concerns in a fair and equitable manner that strengthens the foundations for permanent peace. Resolving forced displacement and the arbitrary acquisition and occupation of land, addressing the HLP and other human rights of returning refugees and IDPs in areas of return, ensuring livelihood and other economic opportunities and a range of other measures will be required if return is be sustainable and imbued with a sense of justice. There is an acute awareness among all of those involved in the ongoing peace processes of the centrality of HLP issues within the context of sustainable peace, however, all too little progress has thus far been made to address these issues in any detail, nor have practical plans commenced to resolve ongoing displacement of either refugees or IDPs. Indeed, the negotiating positions of both sides on key HLP issues differ sharply and will need to be bridged; many difficult decisions remain to be made..."
Author/creator: Scott Leckie
Language: English
Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
Alternate URLs: http://displacementsolutions.org
Date of entry/update: 17 June 2013

Title: Access Denied - Land Rights and Ethnic Conflict in Burma
Date of publication: May 2013
Description/subject: The reform process in Burma/Myanmar by the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein has raised hopes that a long overdue solution can be found to more than 60 years of devastating civil war... Burma’s ethnic minority groups have long felt marginalized and discriminated against, resulting in a large number of ethnic armed opposition groups fighting the central government – dominated by the ethnic Burman majority – for ethnic rights and autonomy. The fighting has taken place mostly in Burma’s borderlands, where ethnic minorities are most concentrated. Burma is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries. Ethnic minorities make up an estimated 30-40 percent of the total population, and ethnic states occupy some 57 percent of the total land area and are home to poor and often persecuted ethnic minority groups. Most of the people living in these impoverished and war-torn areas are subsistence farmers practicing upland cultivation. Economic grievances have played a central part in fuelling the civil war. While the central government has been systematically exploiting the natural resources of these areas, the money earned has not been (re)invested to benefit the local population... Conclusions and Recommendations: The new land and investment laws benefit large corporate investors and not small- holder farmers, especially in ethnic minority regions, and do not take into account land rights of ethnic communities. The new ceasefires have further facilitated land grabbing in conflict-affected areas where large development projects in resource-rich ethnic regions have already taken place. Many ethnic organisations oppose large-scale economic projects in their territories until inclusive political agreements are reached. Others reject these projects outright. Recognition of existing customary and communal tenure systems in land, water, fisheries and forests is crucial to eradicate poverty and build real peace in ethnic areas; to ensure sustainable livelihoods for marginalized ethnic communities affected by decades of war; and to facilitate the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees. Land grabbing and unsustainable business practices must halt, and decisions on the allocation, use and management of natural resources and regional development must have the participation and consent of local communities. Local communities must be protected by the government against land grabbing. The new land and investment laws should be amended and serve the needs and rights of smallholder farmers, especially in ethnic regions.
Language: English & Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centre Netherlands
Format/size: pdf (161K-OBL version; 3.22MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/accesdenied-briefing11.pdf

Date of entry/update: 14 May 2013

Title: Land grabbing as big business in Myanmar
Date of publication: 08 March 2013
Description/subject: "Inadequate land laws have opened rural Myanmar to rampant land grabbing by unscrupulous, well-connected businessmen who anticipate a boom in agricultural and property investment. If unchecked, the gathering trend has the potential to undermine the country's broad reform process and impede long-term economic progress. Under the former military regime, land grabbing became a common and largely uncontested practice. Government bodies, particularly military units, were able to seize large tracts of farmland, usually without compensation. While some of the land Land grabbing as big business in Myanmar By Brian McCartan Inadequate land laws have opened rural Myanmar to rampant land grabbing by unscrupulous, well-connected businessmen who anticipate a boom in agricultural and property investment. If unchecked, the gathering trend has the potential to undermine the country's broad reform process and impede long-term economic progress. Under the former military regime, land grabbing became a common and largely uncontested practice. Government bodies, particularly military units, were able to seize large tracts of farmland, usually without compensation. While some of the land was used for the expansion of military bases, new government offices or infrastructure projects, much of it was used either by military units for their own commercial purposes or sold to private companies. The threat of military force meant there was little grass roots opposition to these land seizures and few avenues to secure adequate compensation. That's changed under the new democratic order as local communities band together to fight back against seizure of their lands. Many of the current land disputes date to the period before the 2010 general elections that ushered in President Thein Sein's reformist quasi-civilian government...Two new land laws passed on March 30, 2012 - the Farmland Law and the Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Land Management Law - were intended to clarify ownership under the constitution and provide protections to land owners. While the laws guaranteed more individual ownership rights, to date big businesses have profited most from the legislation. The new laws created a dysfunctional and opaque system of land registration and administration that reinforced a top-down decision-making process without local participation. The absence of adequate legal and judicial recourse for the protection of land rights has further exacerbated the situation. Rather than deter land rights violations, the laws have effectively facilitated more land grabbing and manipulation of the system..."
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 June 2013

Title: Business and Human Rights in Burma (Myanmar) - Testimony of Marco Simons
Date of publication: 28 February 2013
Description/subject: Testimony of Marco Simons to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission: "This submission describes the emerging landscape as U.S. businesses reengage in Burma and identifies specific human rights concerns associated with current and prospective corporate activities in Burma (Myanmar). A number of companies, including General Electric, have already invested in Burma, and U.S. oil supermajors are considering participation in upcoming auctions for oil blocks. Increased foreign investment has already been linked to large-scale displacement of local communities and loss of traditional livelihoods in Burma. The legal framework for land rights is inadequate to protect the fundamental human rights of those whose homes and fields stand in the way of economic development; indeed, it facilitates arbitrary and inadequately compensated alienation of land. Moreover, violence and gross human rights abuses continue to occur in association with natural resource development projects, as at the Letpadaung Copper Mine at Monywa, and in Shan State along the Shwe Gas Pipeline corridor. Having decided that public disclosure, rather than regulation, is a more appropriate tool to address the human rights and environmental concerns associated with Western investment in Burma, the U.S. Government has proposed Reporting Requirements for Responsible Investment in Burma that are expected to take effect prior to April 2013. While they may assist government and civil society to monitor the human rights implications of the relaxation of U.S. sanctions on Burma, these Reporting Requirements have a number of troubling weaknesses that may allow serious human rights risks to avoid detection. Moreover, while the U.S. is now allowing the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to extend loans to Burma, such projects are already being met with complaints over lack of transparency and consultation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Format/size: pdf (4,7MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 July 2013

Title: Land disputes and the ongoing development of the substantive rule of law in Myanmar (Burma)
Date of publication: 2013
Description/subject: Abstract: "The Myanmar Parliament has passed the Farmland Law and the Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Lands Management Law . Both pieces of legislation form part of a legislative re sponse as Myanmar (Burma) emerges from a sixty year period of chronic armed conflict. Part 2 of this paper outlines the underlying grievances associated with land disputes with a focus upon Kayin (Karen) and Rakhin e (Arakan) states. Part 3 critically analyses the relevant constitutio nal and legislative framework and the role of Parliamentary bodies in l ight of these underlying grievances. Part 4 adopts a comparative stance and considers the approach taken in Kenya as it has sought to add ress similar issues. Finally, Part 5 reflects upon the role that constit utional and legislative reform in relation to land disputes plays in the on going development of the substantive rule of law in Myanmar (Burma)."
Author/creator: Nathan Willis
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chapter in "Law & practice: critical analysis and legal reasoning", 2013
Format/size: pdf (81K-reduced version; 104K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://epubs.scu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1373&context=law_pubs
Date of entry/update: 07 December 2014

Title: Legal Review of Recently Enacted Farmland Law and Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law - Improving the Legal & Policy Frameworks Relating to Land Management in Myanmar
Date of publication: November 2012
Description/subject: "The Farmland Law and the VFV Law were approved by Parliament on March 30th, 2012. There have been a few improvements compared to previous laws such as recognition of non-rotational taungya as a legitimate land-use and recognition that farmers are using VFV lands without formal recognition by the Government. However overall the Laws lack clarity and provide weak protection of the rights of smallholder farmers in upland areas and do not explicitly state the equal rights of women to register and inherit land or be granted land-use rights for VFV land. The Laws remain designed primarily to foster promotion of large-scale agricultural investment and fail to provide adequate safeguards for the majority of farmers who are smallholders. In particular tenure security for farmland remains weak due to the Government retaining power to rescind farm land use rights leaving smallholders vulnerable to dispossession of their land-use rights. In addition there remains some unnecessary de-facto government control over the crop choices of farmers. In particular it is recommended that recognition of land-use rights under customary law and the creation of mechanisms for communal registration of land-use rights, be included in the Farmland and VFV Laws. There needs to be a comprehensive process of re-classifying land in the country to reflect land-use changes resulting from conversion of forests and VFV land into agricultural land, loss of agricultural land due to development projects, urban expansion and population growth. This will serve to reduce land conflict in the countryside and provide genuine tenure security for smallholders. Furthermore the specific and independent rights of women must be explicitly stated in the Laws. Added to this the fundamental principle of free, prior and informed consent should be enshrined, especially in regard to removal of land-use rights in the national interest. It is also necessary that the Government works in partnership with civil society and farmers associations to revise the Farmland and VFV Laws..."
Author/creator: Robert B. Oberndorf, J. D.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forest Trends, Food Security Working Group’s Land Core Group
Format/size: pdf (236K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/Legal_Review_of_Farmland_Law&VFV_Land_Law.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2013

Title: Myanmar at the HLP Crossroads (final version)
Date of publication: 25 October 2012
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Few issues are as frequently discussed and politically charged in transitional Myanmar as the state of housing, land and property (HLP) rights. The effectiveness of the laws and policies that address the fundamental and universal human need for a place to live, to raise a family, and to earn a living, is one of the primary criterion by which most people determine the quality of their lives and judge the effectiveness and legitimacy of their Governments. Housing, land and property issues undergird economic relations, and have critical implications for the ability to vote and otherwise exercise political power, for food security and for the ability to access education and health care. As the nation struggles to build greater democracy and seeks growing engagement with the outside world, Myanmar finds itself at an extraordinary juncture; in fact, it finds itself at the HLP Crossroads. The decisions the Government makes about HLP matters during the remainder of 2012 and beyond, in particular the highly controversial issue of potentially transforming State land into privately held assets, will set in place a policy direction that will have a marked impact on the future development of the country and the day-to-day circumstances in which people live. Getting it right will fundamentally and positively transform the nation from the bottom-up and help to create a nation that consciously protects the rights of all and shows the true potential of what was until very recently one of the world's most isolated nations. Getting it wrong, conversely, will delay progress, and more likely than not drag the nation's economy and levels of human rights protections downwards for decades to come. Myanmar faces an unprecedented scale of structural landlessness in rural areas, increasing displacement threats to farmers as a result of growing investment interest by both national and international firms, expanding speculation in land and real estate, and grossly inadequate housing conditions facing significant sections of both the urban and rural population. Legal and other protections afforded by the current legal framework, the new Farmland Law and other newly enacted legislation are wholly inadequate. These conditions are further compounded by a range of additional HLP challenges linked both to the various peace negotiations and armed insurgencies in the east of the country, in particular Kachin State, and the unrest in Rakhine State in the western region. The Government and people of Myanmar are thus struggling with a series of HLP challenges that require immediate, high-level and creative attention in a rights-based and consistent manner. As the country begins what will be a long and arduous journey toward democratization, the rule of law and stable new institutions, laws and procedures, the time is ripe for the Government to work together with all stakeholders active within the HLP sector to develop a unique Myanmar- centric approach to addressing HLP challenges that shows the country's true potential. And it is also time for the Government to begin to take comprehensive measures - some quick and short-term, others more gradual and long-term - to equitably and intelligently address the considerable HLP challenges the country faces, and grounding these firmly within the reform process.Having thoroughly examined the de facto and de jure HLP situation in the country based on numerous interviews, reports and visits, combined with an exhaustive review of the entire HLP legislative framework in place in the country, this report recommends that the following four general measures be commenced by the Government of Myanmar before the end of 2012 to improve the HLP prospects of Myanmar:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB-OBL version; 2.55MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://displacementsolutions.org/files/documents/MyanmarReport.pdf
Date of entry/update: 26 October 2012

Title: No protection for taungya farmers in bylaws: experts
Date of publication: 22 October 2012
Description/subject: "A network of land-focused civil society organisations has raised concerns that bylaws for two new pieces of land legislation fail to offer proper protection for upland farmers who use shifting cultivation, leaving millions at risk of losing their land tenure rights. Land Core Group chairman U Shwe Thein said that the recently introduced bylaw for the Farmland Law interprets taungya, or upland farming, as only fields under permanent cultivation. This leaves farmers who practise upland shifting cultivation with little protection from losing their lands..."
Author/creator: Thomas Kean
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 December 2014

Date of publication: July 2012
Description/subject: "Land grabbing and speculation, which can both manifest in a multitude of forms, are unfortunate, often-inter-twined, yet common practices in countries undergoing structural political transition. If unchecked, unregulated, or unintentionally encouraged by the very governments that replace formerly authoritarian regimes, these two land realities can serve to undermine democratic reforms, entrench economic and political privilege and seriously harm the human rights prospects of those affected, in particular internationally recognised housing, land and property (HLP) rights. Land grabbing and speculation can increase inequality, harm economic prospects and create conditions where social tensions and even violence may become inevitable. Unless law and policy explicitly address the negative consequences of these practices, land grabbing and speculation can erode citizen confidence in government, reduce incomes and livelihoods and increase poverty and broad declines in a range of vital social indicators. And yet, there is nothing inevitable or inherent about the inequitable acquisition and control of ever-larger quantities of land in fewer and fewer hands. Indeed, governments wishing to protect the HLP rights of rural and urban dwellers and properly regulate the land acquisition and transfer process can succeed in reducing the prevalence of both land grabbing and speculation, improve the human rights prospects of current landholders and ultimately strengthen both democratic processes and macro-economic perspectives. It is clear that these issues are affecting Myanmar at the moment, and that it is up to the Government to take steps to address these problems in a fair, effective and equitable manner Twelve possible steps that the Government may wish to consider, include:..."
Author/creator: Displacement Solutions
Source/publisher: Scott Leckie
Format/size: pdf (270K)
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012

Title: Land to the Tillers of Myanmar
Date of publication: 13 June 2012
Description/subject: "...with increasing frequency, land is taken from farmers, often with little or no compensation. Large swathes of farmland have already been made available to foreign-based companies in a process that appears to be accelerating. Government data show that the amount of land transferred to private companies increased by as much as 900 percent from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s and now totals roughly 5 percent of Myanmar’s agricultural land... Myanmar law requires farmers to grow what the government or the local military commander wants them to grow, and subjects farmers to production quotas. Policies like these also displace farmers and lead to food insecurity, as farm productivity suffers. This can push farmers into debt by forcing them to take out loans from money lenders or sell their land in an effort to meet an unrealistic planting directive. And now two new land laws — the Farmland Bill and the Vacant, Fallow, and Virgin Land Management Bill, recently passed by the legislature and awaiting action by President Thein Sein — are poised to give the government even more power to seize land without consultation or compensation..."
Author/creator: Roy Prosterman and Darryl Vhugen
Source/publisher: "New York Times"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2012

Title: MYANMAR AT THE H.L.P. CROSSROADS (initial version)
Date of publication: 12 June 2012
Description/subject: "The HLP [Housing, Land and Property]choices the nation makes in the coming months will largely determine whether this unbelievably beautiful land, and its proud and wonderful people, will face the tumult, inequities and tragic HLP outcomes of so many other nations of transition; or whether Myanmar can chart an entirely new HLP path, which ushers in a truly new HLP dawn, whereby every one of the country’s 55 million citizens can – as rapidly as possible – enjoy growing security of tenure, improving housing and living conditions, ever greater access to clean water and regular supplies of electricity, and ultimately all of the HLP rights promised to citizens everywhere under human rights law and international best practice. Indeed, we need to dream of an HLP future that unfolds into sustainable cities and towns, where historical neighbourhoods are preserved, where HLP policy begins from a pro-poor perspective where justice follows and where the nations farmer’s experience ever growing levels of HLP rights protections enabling them to restore this land’s position as the world’s rice bowl. Securing HLP rights for all and not just the few is the way to build a strong economy, a stable society and a prosperous future. There is still every chance for the people of Myanmar to get it right and pursue a wholly original, forward-looking approach to these issues. But time is passing quickly and space for re-positioning legislative and policy initiatives on HLP issues is becoming ever smaller. And the HLP challenges facing Myanmar are nothing short of immense..."
Author/creator: Scott Leckie
Language: English
Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
Format/size: pdf (132K)
Date of entry/update: 14 October 2012

Title: Examination and Critique of the 2012 Farmland Law
Date of publication: May 2012
Description/subject: N. B. The title of this article, published in the April-May issue of "The Mon Forum", uses the term "Bill" which implies that the law has not been adopted. Elsewhere in the article, however, it is clear that the analysis is of the adopted Law... "The Farmland Law was enacted and approved by Burma Pyi Daung Su Hluttaw (Burma Union Parliament) on March 30th, 2012. According to the Farmland Law section 3 (a), “farmland means paddy land, ya land, kiang land, shifting-cultivated land (taung ya), perennial plant land, dhani (coastal) land, orchards, and alluvial land.” Under section 3 (b), “farmland means the land which is mainly for boosting agricultural production, and producing naturally growing or man-made products that can be cultivated with an irrigation system.” Analysis: Because farmland is defined as land primarily for the growth of agricultural production, it is an obstacle for the farmers to cultivate their land freely. It gives the right to cultivate agricultural crops solely for the purpose of agricultural production. [Download PDF Version of Farmland Bill in Burmese]..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
Format/size: pdf (146K)
Date of entry/update: 12 June 2012

Title: BURMA: Draft land law denies basic rights to farmers
Date of publication: 01 November 2011
Description/subject: A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission... During the second sitting of the new semi-elected parliament in Burma this year, the government submitted a draft land law. The government gazette published the draft on September 16, and it is currently still before the parliament. Burma needs a new land law. The current legislation on land, either for reasons of content or because of institutional factors, lacks coherence. It is ineffectual in protecting the rights of cultivators. With the rise and rise of private businesses linked to serving and former army officers and bureaucrats, the incidence of land grabbing also is fast increasing, and is bound to increase even more dramatically in the next few years. Although a new law would not stop or perhaps even slow land grabbing of its own accord, one protecting cultivators' rights and situating powers of review over land regulations and cases in the hands of the judiciary and independent agencies could at least set some clear benchmarks against which to measure actual practices, and establish some groundwork for minimum institutional protections. Unfortunately, the draft bill before parliament is not the law that Burma needs. In fact, it is precisely the opposite of what the country needs. Rather than protecting cultivators' rights, it undercuts them at practically every point, through a variety of provisions aimed at enabling rather than inhibiting land grabbing. It invites takeover of land with government authorization for the purpose of practically any activity, not merely for other forms of cultivation. Under the draft, farmers could be evicted to make way for the construction of polluting factories, power lines, roads and railways, pipelines, fun parks, condominiums and whatever else government officials claim to be in "the national interest"..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission
Format/size: pdf (105K)
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2011

Title: Burmese government land grab: Farmers without rights
Date of publication: 23 May 2011
Description/subject: "...Life for farmers and workers in Burma is growing increasingly more difficult. The minimum wage fails to provide the ‘just and favourable remuneration’ that ensures ‘an existence worthy of human dignity’ that is guaranteed by Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a result, many Burmese citizens are forced to leave their families and communities to work as migrant labourers in neighbouring countries. Further, the government’s efforts to confiscate the land of small farmers in order to profit from foreign investors has increased the vulnerability of many Burmese citizens. These actions have been taken in sharp contrast to both Burmese domestic and international laws. The government has provided no reasonable justification for their actions and, therefore, the government is acting in an illegal manner inconsistent with their responsibilities to the Burmese population."
Author/creator: U Myo and Lane Weir
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima.com
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2011

Title: Upland Land Tenure Security in Myanmar - an Overview (Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
Date of publication: February 2011
Description/subject: "This report provides an overview of issues related to upland smallholder land tenure. The immediate objective of the report is to promote a shared understanding of land tenure issues by national-level stakeholders, with a longer term objective of improving the land tenure, livelihood and food security of upland farm families. The report is intended for government and non-government agencies, policy makers and those impacted by policy. The report covers four main areas: status of and trends in upland tenure security; institutions that regulate upland tenure security; mechanisms available to ensure access to land; and points for further consideration which could lead to increased effectiveness and equity. Trends in the uplands include increased population growth, resettlement and concentration of populations, fragmentation and degradation of agricultural lands, and increased loss of land to smallholder farmers or landlessness. Declining access to land for smallholder farmers results in the depletion of common forest resources, increased unemployment, outmigration for labor, and ultimately food insecurity for the people who live in these areas..."
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
Format/size: pdf (4.3MB; 11MB)
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013

Title: Upland Land Tenure Security in Myanmar, an Overview (English)
Date of publication: February 2011
Description/subject: "This report provides an overview of issues related to upland smallholder land tenure. The immediate objective of the report is to promote a shared understanding of land tenure issues by national-level stakeholders, with a longer term objective of improving the land tenure, livelihood and food security of upland farm families. The report is intended for government and non-government agencies, policy makers and those impacted by policy. The report covers four main areas: status of and trends in upland tenure security; institutions that regulate upland tenure security; mechanisms available to ensure access to land; and points for further consideration which could lead to increased effectiveness and equity. Trends in the uplands include increased population growth, resettlement and concentration of populations, fragmentation and degradation of agricultural lands, and increased loss of land to smallholder farmers or landlessness. Declining access to land for smallholder farmers results in the depletion of common forest resources, increased unemployment, outmigration for labor, and ultimately food insecurity for the people who live in these areas..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
Format/size: pdf (2.6MB)
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013

Title: Land Tenure: A foundation for food security in Myanmar’s uplands (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
Date of publication: December 2010
Description/subject: "Access to land for smallholder farmers is a critical foundation for food security in Myanmar's uplands. Land tenure guarantees seem to be eroding and access to land becoming more difficult in some upland areas. If this trend continues it may have negative impacts for food security and undermine environmental and economic sustainability. This briefing paper explores the relationship between land tenure and food security, as well as key institutional and other factors that influence land access and tenure for smallholder farmers in the uplands today..."
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
Format/size: pdf (489K)
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013

Title: Land Tenure: A foundation for food security in Myanmar’s uplands (English)
Date of publication: December 2010
Description/subject: "Access to land for smallholder farmers is a critical foundation for food security in Myanmar's uplands. Land tenure guarantees seem to be eroding and access to land becoming more difficult in some upland areas. If this trend continues it may have negative impacts for food security and undermine environmental and economic sustainability. This briefing paper explores the relationship between land tenure and food security, as well as key institutional and other factors that influence land access and tenure for smallholder farmers in the uplands today."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Food Security Working Group
Format/size: pdf (458K)
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013

Title: Status of Customary Land Rights in Burma (Myanmar)
Date of publication: 10 July 2010
Language: English
Source/publisher: World Concern, Myanmar
Format/size: pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.angoc.org (Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development)
Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013

Title: Status of Customary Land Rights in Burma (Myanmar)
Date of publication: July 2010
Description/subject: 30 pages for projection
Language: English
Source/publisher: World Concern
Format/size: pdf (651K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.angoc.org/portal/publications/CLR/A.%20Burma%20Customary%20Land-Rights.pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 October 2013

Title: Guidance Note on Land Issues (Myanmar)
Date of publication: June 2010
Description/subject: "This note is meant to serve as a quick reference for local authorities and NGOs to acquire an understanding of relevant land laws and the context of land-use in Myanmar. All land and all natural resources in Myanmar, above and below the ground, above and beneath the water, and in the atmosphere is ultimately owned by the Union of Myanmar. Although the socialist economic system was abolished in 1988, the existing Land Law and Directions were not changed in parallel, and thus these are still in use today in accordance with the ‘Adaptation of Expression of Law’ of the State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No 8/88..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UN Habitat, UNHCR
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB)
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2011

Title: A State-run "Market Economy"
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: Without the rule of law, there are no guarantees the economy will be free of state interference under the 2008 Constitution... "The economic aspects of Burma’s 2008 Constitution have been notably absent from the recent written analysis of its implications for Burmese society. Though constitutions are not primarily economic documents, Burma’s latest Constitution does contain clauses that have economic import, and it is worth looking at them carefully. There is an important caveat, however, and this is that a regime that consistently honors the rule of law only in the breach and has many incentives (financial and otherwise) for maintaining the status quo is unlikely to change its behavior anytime soon; therefore, the Constitution may amount to little. Regardless of whether the military abides by its Constitution, however, the document can provide insight into the thinking of its drafters..."
Author/creator: Sean Turnell
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 8
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17134
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010

Title: Housing, Land and Property Rights in Burma: Towards New Strategies
Date of publication: April 2009
Description/subject: "...Burma's citizens and their international friends need to move beyond the advocacy efforts relied upon during the past decades and identify new and refreshing ways of promoting positive change that starts with the people in Burma. An increasing reliance on HLP rights as a foundation for change, grounded deeply in the daily experience of their denial by the vast majority of those living in the country, and the clear range of concrete actions that can be carried out beginning today to improve the HLP situation in the country, could provide a whole new way of transforming the landscape of the country. A novel vision of Burma is required; a vision where all are adequately housed, where all have secure tenure to their land, where displacement as a policy tool is relegated to history, where basic services are enjoyed by all and where Burma's towns and cities become the bustling, modern, vibrant pride and joy of all the peoples within Burma as they go about living lives of dignity, prosperity, equality and security. HLP strategies could provide the basis for transforming this vision into reality, and the time to commence this work is now"
Author/creator: Scott Leckie
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Lawyers' Council, ("Lawkapala" No. 32) via Displacement Solutions
Format/size: pdf (449K)
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2009

Title: A Guide to Housing, Land and Property Rights in Burma
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: Table of Contents:- Introduction: I. International Human Rights Law 1. What are human rights? 2. Where do human rights come from? 3. Human rights and government duties... II. The Right to Adequate Housing 1. Housing is a Human Right 2. What is the Right to Adequate Housing? 3. The Right to Adequate Housing and the Duties of Government... III.Forced Evictions 1. Evictions and Human Rights 2. Is an eviction a violation of human rights? 3. Is the eviction absolutely necessary? 4. The Government’s Duties before, during and after eviction 5. Government duties BEFORE an eviction 6. The government’s duties DURING an eviction 7. The government’s duties AFTER an eviction... IV. Housing, Land and Property Restitution Rights 1. What is Housing, Land and Property restitution? 2. International Human Rights standards on HLP Restitution: the “Pinheiro Principles”. 3. Who does the principle of HLP Restitution apply to? 4. The right to return 5. What is the right to restitution? 6. What about people who are occupying land of displaced persons? 7. What should be done to promote the right to return and restitution?
Language: English
Source/publisher: Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
Format/size: pdf (712K)
Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010

Title: EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO RETURN HOME (English, Karen, Burmese)
Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: Housing rights in Burma after the cyclone... Explaining the right to return and the right to housing, land and property restitution in Burma
Language: English, Karen, Burmese
Source/publisher: Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
Format/size: pdf (English - 56K; Karen - 126K; Burmese - 116K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.cohre.org/sites/default/files/burma_-_factsheet_-_everyone_has_the_right_to_return_home_...
Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010

Title: Displacement and Dispossession: Forced Migration and Land Rights in Burma
Date of publication: 05 December 2007
Description/subject: "According to COHRE's new report, 'Displacement and Dispossession: Forced Migration and Land Rights in Burma', land confiscation by Government forces is responsible for many serious housing, land and property (HLP) rights violations in Burma. These abuses occur during military counter-insurgency operations; to clear land for the construction of new army bases; to make way for infrastructure development projects; to facilitate natural resource extraction; and to cater for the vested interests of business. 'Displacement and Dispossession: Forced Migration and Land Rights in Burma' also reveals that control of land is a key strategy for the military regime, and a means of promoting the on-going expansion of the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw). In 1998, the SPDC issued a directive instructing Tatmadaw battalions to become self-sufficient in rice and other basic provisions. This prompted the Tatmadaw to 'live off the land' by appropriating resources (food, cash, labour, land) from the civilian population. This policy has exacerbated conflict and displacement across much of rural Burma. The Thai Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) and its partners estimate that during 2007, approximately 76,000 people have been newly displaced by armed conflict and associated human rights abuses. The majority of new incidents of forced migration and village destruction were concentrated in northeast Karen State and adjacent areas of Pegu Division. The total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Eastern Burma in October 2007 was 503,000. These included 295,000 people in ceasefire zones, 99,000 IDPs 'in hiding' in the jungle and 109,000 in relocation sites. The estimates exclude hundreds of thousands of IDPs in other parts of Burma (especially Kachin and Shan States, and the west of the country, as well as in some parts of Karen State). Including these figures would bring the total to over a million internally displaced people. COHRE's Du Plessis said, "More than one million people have been dispossessed and are internally displaced in Burma -- not because of a natural disaster, but due to their own government's calculated and brutal actions. We have here a state monopoly which forcibly transfers property, income and assets, from rural, non-Burman ethnic nationalities to an elite, military Government. The HLP violations found in Burma today are the result of short-sighted and predatory policies that date back to the early years of Independence, and to the period of colonial rule. These problems can only be resolved through substantial and sustained change in Burma. Political transition should include improved access to a range of fundamental rights, as enshrined in international law and conventions -- including respect for HLP rights."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Coalition on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
Format/size: pdf (3.21MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ashleysouth.co.uk/files/COHRE_November_2007.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2010

Title: Housing, Land, and Property Rights in Burma
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: "...The main objective of this research is to examine housing, land, and property rights in the context of Burma’s societal transition towards a democratic polity and economy. Much has been written and discussed about property rights in their various manifestations, private, public, collective, and common in terms of “rights”. When property rights are widely and fairly distributed, they are inseparable from the rights of people to a means of living. Yet in the contemporary world, millions of people are denied access to the land, markets, technology, money and jobs essential to creation of livelihoods (Korten, 1998). The most significant worldwide problems of unjust property rights remain those associated with landlessness, rural poverty, and inequality (Hudson-Rodd & Nyunt, 2000)..."
Author/creator: Nancy Hudson-Rodd
Language: English
Source/publisher: Edith Cowan University, Centre for Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE)
Format/size: pdf (741K)
Date of entry/update: 26 February 2007

Title: State-induced violence and poverty in Burma
Date of publication: April 2004
Description/subject: "...The objective of this research paper is to describe specific ways in which the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) deprives the people of Burma of their land and livelihood. Confiscation of land, labour, crops and capital; destruction of person and property; forced labour; looting and expropriation of food and possessions; forced sale of crops to the military; extortion of money through official and unofficial taxes and levies; forced relocation and other abuses by the State..."
Author/creator: Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd, Dr Myo Nyunt, Saw Thamain Tun, Sein Htay
Language: English
Source/publisher: Edith Cowan University, National Council of Union of Burma (NCUB), Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB)
Format/size: pdf (448K)
Date of entry/update: 26 February 2007

Title: The Impact of the confiscation of Land, Labor, Capital Assets and forced relocation in Burma by the military regime
Date of publication: May 2003
Description/subject: 1. Introduction 1; 2. Historical Context and Current Implications of the State Taking Control of People, Land and Livelihood 2; 2.1. Under the Democratically Elected Government 2; 2.1.1. The Land Nationalization Act 1953 2; 2.1.2. The Agricultural Lands Act 1953 2; 3. Under the Revolutionary Council (1962-1974) 2; 3.1. The Tenancy Act 1963 3; 3.2. The Protection of the Right of Cultivation Act, 1963 3; 4. The State Gains Further Control over the Livelihoods of Households 3; 4.1. Under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) Rule (1974 - 1988) 3; 4.1.1 Land Policy and Institutional Reforms 3; 4.2 Under the Military Rule II - SLORC/SPDC (1988 - present) 4; 4.2.1. Keeping it Together: Agriculture, Economy, and Rural Livelihood 5; 5. Militarization of Rural Economy 8; 5.1. Land confiscation 8; 5. 2. Land reclamation 11; 5.3. Military Agricultural Projects 13; 5.4. The Fleecing of Burmese Farmers 15; 5.5. Procurement 17; 5.5.1. Other crops 20; 5.5.2. Farmers tortured in Mon State 23; 6. Forced Relocation and Disparity of Income and wealth 25; 7. Conclusion 29... APPENDICES NOT YET ACQUIRED Appendix 1. Summary Report on Human Rights Violations by SPDC and DKBA Troops in 7 Districts of KNU ( 2000 to 2002) 31; Appendix 2. Forced labor by SPDC troops on road construction from Pa-pun to Kamamaung in 2003 38; Appendix 3. Survey Questionnaires (Ward/village and Household - in Burmese) 45.
Author/creator: Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd, Dr Myo Nyunt, Saw Thamain Tun, Sein Htay
Language: English
Source/publisher: NCUB, FTUB
Format/size: html (19K) pdf (649K, 812K, 413K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs17/land_confiscation-NHR+al-en-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2003

Title: An Overview of the recognition of Native Title in the Commonwealth of Australia
Date of publication: April 2000
Description/subject: "..Rights to land in Burma are bound up with issues of ethnic conflict, militarisation and lack of democratic institutions. A future democratic Burma will need to seek ways to resolve competing claims to land, taking into account such issues as traditional ownership by particular ethnic nationalities, return of displaced persons, varying religious ties to land, development imperatives and agricultural demands. The chosen method of resolution will need to address, as much as possible, the needs for certainty, efficiency and a fair hearing for those concerned. The democratic opposition and its international supporters are seeking to explore and collect ideas for the construction of effective and fair ways of dealing with the many complex legal and social issues in Burma. As part of this exploration of ideas for the future, Burma Lawyers' Council encourages articles explaining relevant issues in other countries. The following article is kindly provided by the principle legal officer of an indigenous land council in Australia. The Australian experience offers an interesting perspective on possible judicial, legislative and administrative responses to the issue of indigenous ownership of land..."
Author/creator: D L Ritter
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 5 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Land as a Free Gift of Nature
Date of publication: 1920
Description/subject: Use Google Chrome to read online - otherwise download and read offline
Author/creator: J. S. Furnivall
Language: English
Source/publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format/size: pdf (193K)
Date of entry/update: 17 February 2014