UUSC has been partnering with grassroots organizations in Burma (Myanmar) since 2002. In that time we have responded to natural disasters, including Cyclone Nargis in 2008, considered the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of the country.
Burma is a multicultural country of over 135 ethnicities. Many ethnic and religious minorities, particularly in border regions, face severe human rights violations, including discrimination and horrific violence. Despite the 2009 democratic reforms, the military continues to exert its power in these regions to obtain land and resources.
The 2017 military campaign against the Rohingya in Northern Rakhine state was unprecedented in its brutality, forcing over 650,000 people to flee to Bangladesh in a matter of weeks. The United Nations has said that the crimes committed “bears the hallmarks of genocide.” Violence has also escalated in other regions, including in Kachin state. Without a response, these crimes will continue.
UUSC shares our partners’ vision of an inclusive, democratic, peaceful, and rights-respecting Burma. We believe that two things are key to realizing this vision:
- A strong civil society led by directly impacted communities.
- Government accountability for human rights abuses.
UUSC supports grassroots organizations in Burma that are either led by members of directly impacted communities or supporting their self-empowerment. Our partners document and publicize human rights abuses, campaign for accountability and inclusive speech, run leadership and conflict resolution trainings, and build coalitions across ethnic lines.