LAND CONFISCATION IN BURMA: A THREAT TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES & RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data

Resource information

Date of publication: 
May 2014
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
OBL:77058

Land confiscation is one of the leading causes of protest
and unrest in Burma, having led to the forced
displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in
recent years. It also undermines Burma’s fragile peace
processes...
•The 2008 constitution and subsequent laws are used
to
legitimize arbitrary land confiscation, deny access
to
justice, and perpetuate an environment of impunity...

Land confiscation for profitable large-scale development
and commercial projects enrich the military, state-
owned
enterprises, and regime cronies, but result in the
loss of
livelihood and human rights abuses for local
communities...

Land confiscation often involves violence, resulting in
grievous injury, to force people off their land, or
to
suppress resistance to land confiscation...

Benefiting from land grabs, linked in some cases to
ethnic cleansing or war atrocities, poses a risk to
foreign
investors and increases their exposure to judicial
claims...

Prevailing censorship and other institutional obstr
uctions
hinder access to accurate information required for
due diligence processes.

It is in the interests of the international corpora
te community to ensure that legislative and
institution reforms include equitable and transpare
nt land acquisition procedures and
measures to protect communities from impunity...

Since President Thein Sein took office in 2011, the
regime has
allowed unbridled land confiscation for infrastructure,
commercial and military development projects...

The 2008
constitution identifies the state as being the ultimate owner of all
land in Burma. Antiquated laws such as the 1894 Lan
d
Acquisition Act give the regime the right to take o
ver any land,
making local people extremely vulnerable to forced
displacement
without any recourse to remedy.

Given that an estimated 70% of the population depend on small-
and medium-scale agriculture for their livelihoods,
land
confiscation has had a devastating impact.

Authors and Publishers

Publisher(s): 

ALTSEAN-Burma (Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma) is a network of organizations and individuals based in ASEAN member states working to support the movement for human rights and democracy in Burma. The network is comprised of human rights & social justice NGOs, political parties, think tanks, academics, journalists and student activists. We were formed at the conclusion of the Alternative ASEAN Meeting on Burma held at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, in October 1996.

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