This photo set contains more than 500 photos and their descriptions which document the human rights situation in Karen areas of Burma. These photos were taken and collected by KHRG since the publication of Photo Set 2001-A in September 2001. The photos in this set were taken in Toungoo, Nyaunglebin, Papun, Thaton, Pa’an and Dooplaya Districts. The photos have been divided into separate headings: ‘Forced Labour’, 'Attacks on Villages & Village Destruction', 'Detention and Torture', 'Shootings and Killings', 'Flight and Displacement', 'Landmines', 'Soldiers', 'Children', and 'Food'. Brief descriptions of the topics covered under each heading are provided at the beginning of each section. More detailed information on the abuses and the regions is available in KHRG documentary reports, several of which are referenced in the text below. Of important note is that many of the abuses documented in this photo set occurred after Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in May 2002 and international attention increasingly began to focus on an imminent agreement between the SPDC and the National League for Democracy. These photos graphically demonstrate that while the international community discusses the ‘progress’ in Rangoon, gross human rights abuses continue to be committed by SPDC forces in the countryside. The numerous forced labour photos in this set have been taken since the SPDC claimed that it had put an end to forced labour, most of them since the International Labour Organisation’s High Level Team released its report criticising the regime's continued use of forced labour and its inadequate attempts to halt the practice.
Almost all of the images in this photo set were taken by KHRG human rights researchers in the field, as noted in the photo captions. Photos taken by other researchers are credited to those who provided them. The photos contained in the set have been chosen as a sampling, and are intended to show as many aspects of the situation as possible. Details of some of the people and places have been deliberately omitted from the photo descriptions or replaced by ‘xxxx’, ‘yyyy’, ‘aaaa’, ‘bbbb’, etc. where necessary to protect the villagers involved. Some of the faces have also been blocked out for the same reasons. While looking at the photos, please remember that they were taken under difficult and often dangerous circumstances with low budget equipment, and quality is as incoming.
The photos are not numbered sequentially, but according to the main section in which they appear; for example, photos related primarily to Forced Labour are numbered A1, A2, etc., and those related to Attacks on Villages and Village Destruction are numbered B1, B2, etc. Photos which are relevant to more than one section are displayed more than once. For example, a photo of children doing forced labour will appear in both the Forced Labour section and the Children section, but will bear the same number in both places; as a result, the sequence of numbered photos may appear something like A1, A2, C47, A3, A4, D12, D13, A5, etc.
opies of the photo prints or digital copies scanned at higher resolution can be obtained upon approval from KHRG, by specifying the photo set and photo numbers and paying the costs involved. Organisations may download the images from the KHRG web site or use the prints for publication on a not-for-profit basis, provided they are properly credited; any publication for commercial purposes requires permission of the copyright holders. This can be obtained by contacting KHRG.
This photo set attempts to give a visual impression of the situation in many different areas, and is intended for use together with KHRG's more detailed regional reports. For a more comprehensive picture of the human rights situation in each area, see the reports referenced in the summaries and photo captions below.
Clicking on any of the sample photos on this page will take you directly to the description of that photo. You can proceed through the report section by section, or click on any section name to go there directly. Within each section, click on the thumbnails above the photo captions to see a full-size image.
Every section of this report contains photos relating to children. Human rights abuses often impact on children harder than they do on adults, and children are often more vulnerable because of the lesser control that they have over their own lives. This makes it necessary to look at their problems as the children would look at them. Most of these photos have been selected from other sections of the report and reproduced here to emphasise the particular effects of the situation on children. Some of the photos in the education section are exclusive to this part of the report because they deal with the education of children who still live in their villages.
The photos below have been divided into six sections: 1. Children and Forced Labour, which documents the SPDC's use of children for forced labour and its effects upon them; 2. Violence Against Children, which looks at the wounding and deaths of children through shootings and landmines; 3. Children and Displacement documents the displacement and flight of children and its effects upon them; 4. Health illustrates the lack of health care available to children, particularly the internally displaced; 5. Education shows the problems of schooling both for the internally displaced and for children in villages under SPDC control; and 6. Child Soldiers, with photos of a couple of the children who have been forced into the ranks of the SPDC's Army. More information on the situation of children can be found in KHRG reports on individual regions.