PHR has been investigating human rights abuses against Burmese civilians, dissidents, minorities, and refugees since 2004, when we focused on women who fled the brutality of Burma’s military and were trafficked into Thailand’s sex trade.
Our most recent work highlights the rampant abuse against minority groups in Burma, and the government’s continued denial of healthcare and detention of medical personnel as a way to control the country.
PHR Welcomes Tomasz Malinowski’s Confirmation as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (April 2, 2014)
PHR today welcomed the Senate confirmation of Tomasz Malinowski as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the government’s highest position solely dedicated to human rights.
Latest Wave of Killings and Arrests in Burma Must be Investigated (January 23, 2014)
PHR has expressed concern over reports of mass killings and arrests of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, and called on the Burmese authorities to urgently investigate the incidents and hold all those responsible accountable for these crimes.
On Human Rights Day, PHR Highlights Priorities for the Administration (December 10, 2013)
On Human Rights Day, PHR highlighted the need for the U.S. government to address several pressing issues in order to protect fundamental freedoms and promote the United States’ position as a beacon for human rights.
Resolution to End Persecution of the Rohingya in Burma Introduced (November 19, 2013)
PHR welcomed the introduction of a resolution that aims to end discrimination against the Rohingya, a minority group in Burma (officially the Union of Myanmar) that is one of the world’s most persecuted ethnic groups.
Health Crisis in Rakhine State (March 2, 2014)
While the news that Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) will be allowed to continue their work in most of Burma is certainly welcome, the decision by the Burmese government to shut down the MSF’s operations in Rakhine state continues a trend of denying rights to the Muslim population who lives there.
Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht: Lessons for Early Atrocity Prevention in Burma (November 9, 2013)
November 9, 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or “crystal night.” On this day in 1938, Nazis in Germany staged state-sanctioned, anti-Jewish riots that demolished windows of Jewish shops & burned down synagogues, hospitals, & cultural institutions.
The Plight of Burma’s Rohingya (November 7, 2013)
On November 3, 2013, a boat carrying at least 70 Rohingya men, women, and children sank off of the coast of Burma. The boat was allegedly headed for Malaysia, where these displaced Rohingyas sought safety from the ongoing persecution and violence in Burma.
Burma’s Rohingya Need Protection from Persecution (November 1, 2013)
Rakhine state, on the western coast of Burma, is among the most dangerous places in the world to be a Muslim. Just over a year ago, simmering tensions and small-scale clashes erupted into mass violence between Buddhist Rakhines and Muslim Rohingya, a minority of about 800,000 whose roots in Burma are several centuries old.
Letter from Medical and Public Health Experts to President Thein Sein Regarding Suspension of MSF in Rakhine State (April 2014)
In this letter, 30 medical and public health experts express concern over the government of Burma's refusal to allow Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to conduct humanitarian operations in Rakhine State. The signatories urgently call on President Thein Sein to reverse the order expelling the organization from the region, as he did for other parts of the country. The letter reiterates that the removal of MSF from the health infrastructure in Rakhine State is an inexcusable act that will have devastating consequences, particularly for the Rohingya community, which is especially reliant on the health services provided by MSF.
Patterns of Anti-Muslim Violence in Burma (August 2013)
In this report, PHR documents how persecution of and violence against the Rohingya in Burma has spread to other Muslim communities throughout the country. PHR conducted eight separate investigations in Burma and the surrounding region between 2004 and 2013.
Massacre in Central Burma (May 2013)
Anti-Muslim violence swept through central Burma in spring 2013, reportedly sparked by an argument at a gold shop and the killing of a Buddhist monk in Meiktila, Mandalay. Homes, mosques, and madrassas were destroyed, and over 100 people lost their lives. This report is the result of an investigation by a PHR team, undertaken shortly after the violence occurred.
President Obama is choosing an odd time to make history as the first US president to visit Burma. Ethnic violence continues to devastate Rakhine State in western Burma, conflict rages in northern Kachin State, and military officials responsible for some of the worst violence in the country continue to thrive in a climate of impunity.