Refugees in Their Own Land

IDPs – the Internally Displaced Peoples

Families returning to their village after waiting out the Burma Army.

The Regime’s army extends their control over the ethnic minorities by building roads and camps in ethnic homelands, forcing people to relocate or flee into the jungle. There is documented forced labor and the use of rape as a weapon. The Regime’s army lays landmines to keep villagers from returning home and supporting the resistance. They aim to dominate the population, assimilate them and exploit them. They do this directly through military attacks, selective cease-fire agreements, and the use of proxy ethnic forces allied with the Regime.

One devastating result is the internally displaced people, who are forced to flee their homes because of the Regime’s army. Some are forcibly relocated and now living under the Regime’s control. Some who are attacked by the Regime’s army are able to return to their homes after the Regime’s army leaves. Others who are not able to return, live in temporary sites nearby. And many are on the run or in hiding now.

All of these people lack security, food, education for their children, and suffer increased health problems.

Villager with a Burma Army landmine that has been defused.
Villagers who have been chased from their village trying to shelter from the rain
A family flees from the Burma Army
Map showing Burma Army expansion in Karen State