No Safe Place: Burma's Army and the Rape of Ethnic Women

Saturday, March 1, 2003
South Eastern Asia

According to Burma's ruling military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), Burma's army "safeguards national solidarity and peace." According to women from Burma's ethnic minority groups, particularly those living in the ethnic States along Burma's eastern borders, the army does the opposite. Rather than look to the army for protection, ethnic women flee in fear at the sight of a soldier. A recent investigation by Refugees International documents the widespread use of rape by Burma's soldiers to brutalize women from five different ethnic nationalities. Although rape by soldiers in Burma has been a well-known, well-documented problem for at least a decade, a recent report by the Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN) and Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF), License to Rape, inspired an unprecedented level of international interest and outrage. Finally, the tragedy of rape against Shan women in Burma is receiving the attention it deserves. It is, however, but one aspect of the problem. Burma's military (known as the Tatmadaw) frequently rapes women from other ethnic minority groups as well.

Document PDF: 

Refugees International, No Safe Place: Burma's Army and the Rape of Ethnic Women, 2003