Human rights abuses

The second of these broader factors are the serious core human rights abuses cited by the Human Security Report (Human Security Center 2005). A great number of aid and activist organisations have documented the political and economic context of human rights violations as part of establishing the parameters of the humanitarian crises in Burma.[14] There is also an international public health and epidemiological perspective on human rights issues in Burma, particularly on Thai–Burma border populations (Beyrer and Stover et al. 2007; Beyrer 1998; Belton and Whittaker 2007). Reading the countless reports from these organisations about the death, torture and lack of access to health of forcibly displaced and refugee populations, there can be no doubt that Burma is a country currently in the midst of a medical and humanitarian crisis. The current health system is unable to deal with let alone reduce human rights abuses. It is not just a case of too few facilities, resources and trained personnel. It is also the pervasive fear of retribution for health personnel who knowingly treat and give aid to activists, opposition politicians and all those who agitate for democracy.

[14] These organisations include the United Nations, the Thai–Burma Border Consortium, the Karen Human Rights Group, Human Rights Watch Asia, Amnesty International, Médecins sans Frontières and the Back Pack Health Medical Team.