“Rainbow Amid the Storm: Exposing the harsh realities of LGBTQIAs in Post-coup Myanmar” is a product of research conducted with 210 LGBTQIAs from 14 townships of 4 regions and 3 states in Myanmar. While this report may not represent the on-ground situations of all LGBTQIAs in Myanmar, it still exposes the pattern of abuses taking place, and the harsh realities, and challenges facing most of Myanmar’s LGBTQIAs since the coup.
According to the findings of the research, from 2021 February to 2023 February, LGBTQIAs in Myanmar had faced the highest discrimination in the family sector at 53%, 37% in the economic sector, 36% in the healthcare sector, 33.7% in the administrative sector, 33% in the social sector, 31% in the public services sector and 14% in education sector respectively.
There was a wide range of verbal abuse, physical violence, psychological violence, sexual violence, and economic violence involved in such sectoral discriminations.
In the family sector, parents, siblings, and relatives of LGBTQIAs are among the perpetrators of violence and discrimination. Perpetrators in other sectors mainly involved members of the military and police, given that most sectors have been controlled and run by the military regime since the coup.
Since the coup, discrimination against LGBTQIAs had escalated the most in the political, economic, administrative, justice, and public services/government sectors respectively.
Moreover, it was found that 32% of 210 LGBTQIAs studied (67 LGBTQIAs) are victims of gross violations of human rights (GVHR) such as – arbitrary arrests; torture and other inhumane, degrading punishment or treatment; rape; other sexual harassment and violence; confiscation and/or destruction of properties; illegal taxation or extortion; and extrajudicial killings. It was also found that GVHR cases are occurring more in the conflict-affected areas such as Sagaing and Magway regions.
In overview, the rights of LGBTQIA in Myanmar are being infringed – including their right to education, freedom of movement, right to privacy and security, right to property, freedom of assembly and expression, freedom from discrimination, right to equality, freedom from torture, right to equality before the law, freedom from arbitrary arrest and right to fair trials.
The report indicates an urgent need to widely document the human rights violations faced by LGBTQIAs in Myanmar; to establish a practical mechanism to redress the instances of their human rights violations; to end the impunity of the Myanmar military and bring the perpetrators to justice.
It is recommended that repressive and discriminatory laws against LGBTQIAs be amended and repealed; the policymakers and nation-builders draft and enact an inclusive Federal Democracy Constitution that protects the rights of LGBTQIAs; and both local and international actors come together to bring perpetrators of LGBTQIA violence to justice through international human rights mechanisms.