How to Defend the Defenders? A Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in Burma and Appropriate Protection Mechanisms
Testimonies and reports from inside the country have painted a very different picture to the new tolerant and free Burma that the Burma Government wants the world to see. Those who try to defend human rights, or question the power or narrative of the Burma Government — and their military and corporate backers —now seem to be operating in as dangerous an environment as ever.
The immediate objective of the report is to provide a comprehensive picture of the current situation of Human Rights Defenders (“HRDs”) in Burma, including the threats and risks that they face. The report also provides concrete, practical, research-based, solution-oriented policy recommendations for HRDs, the Burma authorities, and any other relevant actors, to enhance HRDs’ access to adequate and realistic protection programs, and to strengthen legislative and judicial protection mechanisms for HRDs in Burma. The medium-term objective is to facilitate the emergence of an enabling environment in which HRDs can operate freely, and carry out their valuable and legitimate human rights work. The longterm objective is to realize an improved human rights situation in Burma, whereby human rights are promoted, respected and protected, particularly those of poor, marginalized and vulnerable groups, including religious, ethnic and social minorities, as well as local grassroots communities.