Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Myanmar - COI

Click here to see the host countries of refugees originating from Myanmar.

Dr Judith Beyer

Email: judith [dot] beyeratuni-konstanz [dot] de

Dr Judith Beyer is Junior Professor of Anthropology (tenure track) at the University of Konstanz in Germany. She has worked in Central Asia since 2000 and in Myanmar since 2012.  She is concerned with legal pluralism, anthropology of the state, religious minorities, ethnicity, statelessness, constitutional politics and authority.

Prof Lynette Chua (LGBTI)

Email: lynette [dot] chuaatgmail [dot] com

Professor Chua is a law and society scholar with research interests in law and social change, and law and social movements. Professor Chua is conducting fieldwork on and writing about the emergence of LGBT rights mobilization in Myanmar at a time of political transition. She has also initiated a broader collaborative project to examine the development of LGBT rights activism across various Asian countries. She co-authored the upcoming piece (2015) "Sexual and Gender Minorities in Transition: LGBT Rights and Activism in Myanmar". Professor Chua has provided expert opinions for LGBTI cases from Myanmar and Malaysia. 

David Gilbert (LGBTI)

Email: david [dot] gilbertatanu [dot] edu [dot] au

David Gilbert is a politics scholar focussing on LGBTI culture and society in Myanmar with interests in identity, regulation and everyday life. David has been doing fieldwork on and writing about the negotiation of trans belonging in Yangon. He previously worked in the non-profit sector on programs supporting Burmese activists and displaced people to gain access to higher education. He has worked in a variety of roles teaching, writing curriculum and establishing scholarship programs. David's research on LGBT issues in Myanmar have appeared in a number of journals and blogs and he co-authored the upcoming piece (2015) "Sexual and Gender Minorities in Transition: LGBT Rights and Activism in Myanmar". He has provided expert opinion for LGBTI cases from Myanmar in Australia.

Hla Myat Tun (LGBTI)

Email: hlamyat [dot] crbatgmail [dot] com

Hla Myat Tun is heading Colors Rainbow. He has eight years of experience working on development programs in Myanmar and Thailand. During his time with the United Nations Population Fund in Burma, he conducted trainings throughout the country on issues such as reproductive health, gender, and human trafficking. In Thailand he has worked with local and national LGBT organizations as well as human rights documentation projects through the International Center for Transitional Justice. He is a leading LGBT rights activist as a head of Colors Rainbow and as well as coordinating Myanmar LGBT Rights Network since 2012 and has navigated the at times challenging environment of working with the many different groups belonging to the LGBT community and has created respect around LGBT’s work locally, nationally and internationally. Lynette is a law and society scholar with research interests in law and social change, and law and social movements. Lynette is conducting fieldwork on and writing about the emergence of LGBT rights mobilization in Myanmar at a time of political transition. She has also initiated a broader collaborative project to examine the development of LGBT rights activism across various Asian countries. She co-authored the upcoming piece (2015) "Sexual and Gender Minorities in Transition: LGBT Rights and Activism in Myanmar". Professor Chua has provided expert opinions for LGBTI cases from Myanmar and Malaysia. 

Karen Coates

Email: theramblingspoonatgmail [dot] com

Karen Coates is an author, journalist and media trainer who has spent more than a dozen years reporting from Southeast Asia for publications around the world. She has traveled extensively through Myanmar, and worked with Burmese journalists both inside and outside the country through several journalism training programs. In 2009, Coates led the first group of Burmese journalists working for Myanmar-based news organizations to cover the UN in New York and the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh. In 2011, she and colleagues at The University of Montana, working through a State Department grant, brought eight Burmese journalists to the campus for a three-week training in government reporting. Coates is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. 

Ms Silvia di Gaetano

Email: silviadigaetanoatgmail [dot] com
 
Silvia di Gaetano works as consultant for the protection of human rights of stateless Rohingya people in Myanmar and in the Asian region. Currently, she is collaborating with the Rohingya Human Rights Monitoring Network, providing partnership services to Rohingya individuals and networks based in Asia and Europe. Engaged in research-based advocacy, she is developing a strategy to promote accession to International Statelessness Conventions, identify legal and procedural obstacles to acquisition of nationality and formulate appropriate recommendations to prevent and reduce statelessness, leading to a Global Advocacy Campaign on Stateless Rohingya. She also drafted letters for communication to Special Procedures in Geneva relative to individual complaints, in particular from the Rohingya community in Thailand. Furthermore, she monitored, documented and reported on arbitrary detention, torture and rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association in Myanmar. 

Dr Kirsten McConnachie 

Email: Kirsten [dot] Mcconnachieatwarwick [dot] ac [dot] uk

Dr Kirsten McConnachie is a socio-legal researcher and her work investigates law, justice and governance as it affects refugee populations. She was worked primarily with Karen and Chin refugees but is familiar with issues generally related to displacement in and from Myanmar. She is author of Governing Refugees (Routledge 2014), a book about the refugee camps on the Thailand-Myanmar border. She teaches on the MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the Refugee Studies Centre.

Aung Myo Min (LGBTI)

Email: myominburmaatgmail [dot] com

Aung Myo Min is the founder and Executive Director of  Equality Myanmar formerly known as the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB) and the Colors Rainbow LGBT Rights Project. He is a 1993 graduate of the Human Rights Advocate Program at Columbia University and the former head of the Human Rights Documentation Unit of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma. He was a student leader in Burma’s 1988 revolution and the first openly gay man among the democratic movement. Aung Myo Min has been awarded seven international awards for his human rights and LGBT rights work, including the 1999 Felipa De Souza award from the IGLHRC and the Honor of Courage award from the San Francisco City Board. Today, he conducts human rights trainings, advocacy, and research in both Thailand and Burma, where has recently returned for the first time after twenty-four years in exile.

Edith Mirante

Email: majeathevanet [dot] com

Edith Mirante has been engaged with Myanmar since 1982; her publications are listed on www.projectmaje.org Her commentaries are regularly broadcast on the BBC World Service and she has given evidence about Burma before the US Congress, the European Trade Commission, and the International Labour Organization. Ms. Mirante is founder and project director of Project Maje, an information project on Burma’s human rights record and the environmental situation. She specializes in the Rohingya, Chin and Kachin.

Dr Nora Rowley 

Email: rowley [dot] noraatgmail [dot] com

Nora Rowley is a public health physician who has worked extensively to investigate and advocate for the human rights of Rohingya since she was first intensively introduced to the Myanmar human rights conditions for the Rohingya as a field medical relief doctor in Rakhine State, Myanmar in 2006-7.  She has researched, surveyed, networked and reported on the Rohingya and other human rights concerns in Myanmar including serving as a member of US Campaign for Burma’s Board of Directors from 2008-11.  Since June 2012, she has worked a full time surveillance, reporting and advocating regarding conditions for Rohingya in Myanmar and neighboring countries of attempted refuge.  In early 2013 and 2014, she visited and interviewed internally displaced Rohingya and other Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists in Rakhine State most populous IDP area of Sittwe.  In 2014, she investigated the conditions for Rohingya seeking refuge and third country resettlement, including Rohingya who had been human trafficked, in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, including UNHCR practices.

Amy A. Smith

Email: amy [dot] smithatfortifyrights [dot] org

Amy Smith is an executive director of Fortify Rights. Previously, Amy worked as a consultant focusing on regional migration and refugee protection issues with the Labor Migration and Trafficking Unit of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Office for Southeast Asia. Amy served as the Myanmar and Thailand researcher for the International Secretariat of Amnesty International and worked with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Malaysia and Thailand, facilitating research and programming with urban and camp-based refugees from Myanmar. Amy authored numerous reports and publications on human rights and humanitarian issues, including for Human Rights Watch, and has experience providing legal representation and expert testimony for asylum seekers in the U.S. Amy is a licensed U.S. attorney with a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and a B.S. from Northeastern University. 

Dr Maung Zarni 

Email: fanon2005atgmail [dot] com

Dr Maung Zarni has been a visiting fellow with CIvil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics in the UK since 2011.  Dr. Zarni’s research is concerned with human rights abuses, minority persecution and political repression in Burma in particular and Southeast Asia in general.  Dr. Zarni’s current research focuses on the political economy of Burma's "Buddhist" racism and (economic) development within the context of democratic reforms.  He was the Founding Director of Free Burma Coalition, which was nominated by Open Society Institute President Aryeh Neier for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Human Rights in 1998.  Dr Zarni officially reviewed the Country of Origin Information report (June 2011) for UK's Independent Advisory Group on Country Information (IAGCI) and was a key expert witness before Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum)  as recent as Spring 2013.

Chris Lewa (The Arakan Project)

Email: chris [dot] lewaatgmail [dot] com

Chris Lewa is the founder and coordinator of The Arakan Project based in the region. Since 1999, she has been engaged in research-based advocacy on the situation of the Rohingya minority in Burma/Myanmar, as well as on their situation as refugees in Bangladesh and other countries in the Asian region. She provides expert reports and her expertise has been recognised, and has also provided consultancy services to international human rights organisations, UN agencies and donor governments. Her expertise has been recognised by the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in a Country Guidance case on Myanmar.

Siddharth Kara

Email: siddharth_karaathks [dot] harvard [dot] edu

Siddharth Kara is one of the world's foremost experts on human trafficking and contemporary slavery. He is the Director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he is also an Adjunct Lecturer and teaches the only course on human trafficking at HKS. In addition, Kara is a Visiting Scientist on Forced Labor at the Harvard School of Public Health. Kara is the author of Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, co-winner of the prestigious 2010 Frederick Douglass Award at Yale University for the best non-fiction book on slavery. Sex Trafficking is the first book on modern forms of slavery to win the prize. Kara's second book, Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia was released in October, 2012. Just as Sex Trafficking provided the first comprehensive overview of the global sex trafficking industry, Bonded Labor provides the first comprehensive overview of the system of debt bondage endemic to South Asia. Kara currently advises the United Nations, International Labour Organisation, the U.S. Government, and several other governments on anti-trafficking policy and law. Kara has testified before the U.S. Congress and several foreign Parliaments on his research. Kara's has also appeared extensively in the media as an expert on modern slavery, including on CNN, the BBC, the Guardian, CNBC, National Geographic, and numerous documentary films.

Cate Buchanan

Email: cate [dot] buchananatathenaconsortium [dot] org

Cate Buchanan is a peace process specialist with proven subject expertise on armed violence prevention and reduction, gun control, gender inclusion and participation, harm reduction and drug policy, and evidence-based policymaking. With an established interest in public policy, she has a strong skill-set in policy analysis, strategy development, training, and programme implementation. Cate has worked with peace process actors related to conflicts in Abkhazia, Georgia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, South Ossetia, Sudan, Thailand, Timor-Leste and elsewhere, as well as at the global policy level. Since August 2015 Cate has been on secondment to the Nyein (Shalom) Foundation in Myanmar in the role of Senior Peacebuilding Adviser. Prior to this, from mid-2014 to mid-2015, she was the interim adviser and facilitator to the Myanmar Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process as well as consultant to the Nyein Foundation. She also conducted consultancy work for the Peace Support Fund related to their work on Women, Peace and Security. 

Joshua Kurlantzick

Email: jkurlantzickatcfr [dot] org

Joshua Kurlantzick is senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Kurlantzick was previously a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he studied Southeast Asian politics and economics and China's relations with Southeast Asia. Previously, he was a fellow at the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy and a fellow at the Pacific Council on International Policy. He is the winner of the Luce Scholarship for journalism in Asia and was selected as a finalist for the Osborn Elliot prize for journalism in Asia. He has published numerous articles on Myanmar, including "Opposition Landslide in Myanmae Won't Push the Army out of Politics" (2015), "Myanmar's Alarming Civil Unrest" (2013) and "Myanmar: The Next Failed State?" (2011). He was involved in the Project on Political and Economic Reform in Myanmar, which examines the challenges Myanmar faces in building a federal democratic state, particulalry during its run up to the 2015 elections. The project also examined the role of external actors in helping Myanmar craft a federal democracy. Joshua Kurlantzick is the the author of the forthcoming A Great Place to Have a War: The Secret War in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA. He received his BA in political science from Haverford College.

Other Resources

  • Reporters Without Borders has published a list of 10 "internet enemies", i.e. countries that actively restrict access to the internet, censor content and pursue and imprison those who upload, contribute and view content which criticises the government. There are corresponding articles detailing the legal obstacles for internet users, and the consequences for those who fall foul of the law. Myanmar is on this list.
  • Online Burma/Myanmar Library Classified and annotated links to full text documents on Burma/Myanmar. The Library holds about 32,000 items, mostly in English but an increasing number in Burmese and other languages of Burma. The Library is free. It used to be blocked from inside Burma but is now accessible.
  • Myanmar Timeline Post Independence, a timeline that comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Internet Freedom

Reporters Without Borders has published a list of 10 "internet enemies", i.e. countries that actively restrict access to the internet, censor content and pursue and imprison those who upload, contribute and view content which criticises the government. There are corresponding articles detailing the legal obstacles for internet users, and the consequences for those who fall foul of the law. Myanmar is on this list.

Share