Embargoed for12 December 2012
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The Students and Youth Congress of Burma (SYCB) and Nationalities Youth Forum (NY-Forum) havereleased a new report entitled “Excluded: Burma’s Ethnic Nationalities on the Margins of Democracyand Development.” The report documents evidence that ethnic nationalities directly affected bydevelopment projects in Burma are systematically denied their right to free, prior, and informed consent(FPIC), and are forced to bear the brunt oftheseprojects.Massive development projects, such as the Shwe Gas Project and the Tavoy Industrial Zone, across thecountry are forging ahead with next to no consultation ofhundredsof thousands directly impactedpeople.“Our evidence shows that every development project surveyed had some incidences of humanrights abuses,includingforced evictions, land confiscations, and forced labor,”said Moe Hlaing,CentralCommittee memberof NY-Forum.Based on data collected through 261 interviews conducted in 7 States and 1 Region, involving 10 ethnicnationality groups and 9 development projects, the report presents several key findings:Close to 90% of individuals surveyed did not receive any information about the developmentproject in their area before it began. In all but 2 sites, not one person was given anyinformation.
- Less than 1% said a public forum was held where the local community could attend and lessthan 2% felt they would not be punishedif they sought information about the project.
- Close to half (44.1%) felt unsafe seeking further information about the project, while 45.2%were not sure whether it was safe or unsafe.
- Less than 1% experienced positive impacts from the development project.
On December9, a cease fire agreement between the government and the Chin National Frontstatedthat the principles of FPIC will be observed in accordance with the will of the Chin people.“Theagreement is a positive start, butFPICnowneeds to be enshrined in national law and enforcedthroughout the country, saidNaw San, General Secretary of the SYCB.“Noproject should be initiateduntil local communities have been consulted in a manner that is consistent with international standardsof free, prior, and informed consent. This is a key for sustainable development in Burma.”
For more information, please contact:
(1)Naw San (SYCB): +66(0)8481199594 email@example.com
(2)Moe Hlaing (NY-Forum): +66(0)872096809 firstname.lastname@example.org