As INGOs working in Myanmar, we condemn the Myanmar military’s widespread use of deadly violence against civilians. We are deeply concerned that since 1 Feb 2021, 550 civilians have been killed, including 46 children.1 This violence escalated even further on Saturday, 27 March, when at least 114 people were killed in a single day. Over the same weekend, airstrikes were launched by the Myanmar military in Kayin/Karen State, killing civilians and forcing around 10,000 people to flee their homes. These horrific acts of violence must stop immediately.
We are deeply concerned by the dire humanitarian consequences of this crisis. Obstacles to access vital health services for those injured, or persons with chronic disease, increase the risk of long term impairment, and represent a further challenge for Covid-19 response. The occupation of education and healthcare facilities across the country undermines the right to education and health.
We renew our call on armed forces and police to refrain from all forms of violence against civilians, peaceful protestors, journalists, and media workers and to respect the fundamental human rights of all people in Myanmar, including freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, and free flow of information.
We remain committed to working with our civil society partners and supporting communities with urgently needed assistance to meet their immediate basic needs and with programmes that build greater resilience over the longer term. The political crisis is creating new vulnerabilities, increased humanitarian needs and deepening poverty across the country. The lives, livelihoods and rights of civilians must be protected.
We urgently call for all stakeholders to use all possible diplomatic channels, forums and means to:
● Ensure civilians are protected from indiscriminate violence, and provide refuge and protection to those fleeing for safety, in line with international law
● Respect and facilitate unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance for communities in need across Myanmar
● Urgently find a peaceful solution to this crisis, together with the people of Myanmar.
BBC Media Action
CARE International in Myanmar
Centre for Development and Environment
Church World Service
Community Partners International
Danish Refugee Council
Democracy Reporting International
Energy and Poverty Research Group
Fauna & Flora International
Finnish Refugee Council
Humanity & Inclusion / Handicap International Federation
Médecins du Monde France
Norwegian People’s Aid
People in Need
Save the Children
The Border Consortium
The Freedom Fund
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Yangon Film School