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Burmese refugees in China

Individual Documents

Title: Isolated in Yunnan: Kachin Refugees from Burma in China’s Yunnan Province
Date of publication: June 2012
Description/subject: "since June 2011, renewed fighting between the Burmese military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in northern Burma has driven an estimated 75,000 ethnic Kachin from their homes. Many have fled abuses by the Burmese army, including attacks on Kachin villages, killings and rape, and the use of abusive forced labor. About 65,000 have stayed inside Burma, where they remain at risk. At least another 7,000-10,000 have sought refuge across the border in Yunnan Province in southwestern China....In the months immediately following the June 2011 outbreak of renewed hostilities between the Burmese army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), some displaced Kachin were denied entry into China or forcibly returned to Burma, which put them at great risk and created a pervasive fear of forced return among the Kachin refugees who remain in Yunnan. Despite Chinese government claims to the contrary, refugees in Yunnan told Human Rights Watch they had received no humanitarian assistance from the government and major humanitarian agencies have had no access to the refugees since they began arriving in June 2011. The refugees are scattered across more than a dozen makeshift settlements lacking adequate shelter, food, potable water, sanitation, and basic health care. Most children have no access to schools. Needing to work to provide for their families, they are vulnerable to abuses by local employers, and have been subject to arbitrary drug testing and prolonged detention by the Chinese authorities..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Format/size: pdf (2.76K)
Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012

Title: Untold Miseries - Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burma’s Kachin State
Date of publication: 19 March 2012
Description/subject: 'When Burmese President Thein Sein took office in March 2011, he said that over 60 years of armed conflict have put Burma’s ethnic populations through “the hell of untold miseries.” Just three months later, the Burmese armed forces resumed military operations against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), leading to serious abuses and a humanitarian crisis affecting tens of thousands of ethnic Kachin civilians. “Untold Miseries”: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Kachin State is based on over 100 interviews in Burma’s Kachin State and China’s Yunnan province. It details how the Burmese army has killed and tortured civilians, raped women, planted antipersonnel landmines, and used forced labor on the front lines, including children as young as 14-years-old. Soldiers have attacked villages, razed homes, and pillaged properties. Burmese authorities have failed to authorize a serious relief effort in KIA-controlled areas, where most of the 75,000 displaced men, women, and children have sought refuge. The KIA has also been responsible for serious abuses, including using child soldiers and antipersonnel landmines. Human Rights Watch calls on the Burmese government to support an independent international mechanism to investigate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties to Burma’s ethnic armed conflicts. The government should also provide United Nations and humanitarian agencies unhindered access to all internally displaced populations, and make a long-term commitment with humanitarian agencies to authorize relief to populations in need.'
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB - OBL version; 2.25MB - original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0312ForUpload_1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012