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Burma Issues - 2024


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Disputes - international

over half of Burma's population consists of diverse ethnic groups who have substantial numbers of kin in neighboring countries; Bangladesh struggles to accommodate 912,000 Rohingya, Burmese Muslim minority from Rakhine State, living as refugees in Cox's Bazar; Burmese border authorities were constructing a 200 km (124 mi) wire fence designed to deter illegal cross-border transit and tensions from the military build-up along border with Bangladesh in 2010; Bangladesh referred its maritime boundary claims with Burma and India to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea; Burmese forces attempting to dig in to the largely autonomous Shan State to rout local militias tied to the drug trade, prompts local residents to periodically flee into neighboring Yunnan Province in China; fencing along the India-Burma international border at Manipur's Moreh town is in progress to check illegal drug trafficking and movement of militants

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 1.975 million (government offensives against armed ethnic minority groups near its borders with China and Thailand, natural disasters, forced land evictions) (2023)

stateless persons: 600,000 (2022); note - Rohingya Muslims, living predominantly in Rakhine State, are Burma's main group of stateless people; the Burmese Government does not recognize the Rohingya as a "national race" and stripped them of their citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law, categorizing them as "non-nationals" or "foreign residents;" under the Rakhine State Action Plan drafted in October 2014, the Rohingya must demonstrate their family has lived in Burma for at least 60 years to qualify for a lesser naturalized citizenship and the classification of Bengali or be put in detention camps and face deportation; native-born but non-indigenous people, such as Indians, are also stateless; the Burmese Government does not grant citizenship to children born outside of the country to Burmese parents who left the country illegally or fled persecution, such as those born in Thailand; the number of stateless persons has decreased dramatically because hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since 25 August 2017 to escape violence

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Burma does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore, Burma remained on Tier 3; the regime reported investigating and convicting more traffickers, sentencing some to imprisonment, and conducting an awareness-raising event; the 2022 anti-trafficking law was enacted, criminalizing all forms of labor and sex trafficking; however, the regime did not identify or screen for any victims and, as a result, penalized victims for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked; the military continued to use children and adults in forced labor; the regime did not prosecute any military or deposed government officials despite continued reports of complicity in trafficking, and it prevented civil society organizations from assisting victims; displacement resulting from military conflict, exacerbated by the February 2021 military coup that deposed the democratically elected government, made Rohingya and other ethnic groups more vulnerable to human trafficking; efforts to combat trafficking continued to decline dramatically since the coup, as the military regime shifted its focus from serving justice to persecuting pro-democracy opposition (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Burma, as well as Burmese victims abroad; Burmese men are forced to work domestically and abroad in fishing, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, and construction; fishermen are lured into forced labor by recruitment agencies in Burma and Southeast Asia; Burmese women are lured to China for marriage under false pretenses and are subjected to sex trafficking, forced concubinism and childbearing, and forced domestic labor; men, women, and children in ethnic minority areas are at increased risk of sex trafficking and forced labor in farming, manufacturing, and construction; men and boys are recruited locally by traffickers for forced labor in oil palm and rubber plantations, mining, fishing, and bamboo, teak, and rice harvesting; some military personnel, civilian brokers, border guard officials, and ethnic armed groups continue to recruit child soldiers, particularly in conflict areas; men, women, and children are at risk of forced labor and sex trafficking along Burma’s borders with China and Thailand; discriminatory laws and hiring practices put LGBTQI+ individuals at higher risk for trafficking; Burmese women are subjected to forced domestic labor, including in the UAE; foreign traffickers, including Chinese nationals, reportedly are fraudulently recruiting men and women from South and Southeast Asia, as well as Brazil, Kenya, Uganda, and Uzbekistan, for forced labor in cyber scam operations along the border with Thailand (2023)

Illicit drugs

source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics; narcotics produced in Burma trafficked throughout the region, with routes extending beyond Southeast Asia to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan; largest opium poppy cultivator  globally with an estimated 47,100 hectares grown in 2023; not a major source or transit country for drugs entering the United States; domestic consumption of synthetic drug cocktails such as Yaba, “Happy Water,” and “Wei Tiong” (mixtures of drugs including caffeine, methamphetamine, tramadol, and MDMA) popular among the younger population and domestic drug consumption  substantial and widespread.


NOTE: The information regarding Burma on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Burma 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Burma 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.