Hpapun Incident Report: Forced labour in Bu Tho Township, October 2013

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Hpapun Incident Report: Forced labour in Bu Tho Township, October 2013

Published date:
Monday, October 13, 2014

This Incident Report describes the subjection of villagers in Meh P’Lee village tract, Bu Tho Township to forced labour by Battalion #1013 of the Border Guard Force (BGF). According to a village administrator, BGF Captain Maung Soe ordered residents of the village to contribute regular unpaid labour performing sentry duty and acting as messengers at a local BGF camp, as well as providing porters to carry supplies for the battalion when travelling.  

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in eastern Burma/Myanmar to document individual incidents of abuse using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When writing incident reports, community members are encouraged to document incidents of abuse that they consider to be important, by verifying information from multiple sources, assessing for potential biases and comparing to local trends.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in eastern Burma/Myanmar, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s Website.

[3] Border Guard Force (BGF) battalions of the Tatmadaw were established in 2010, and they are composed mostly of soldiers from former non-state armed groups, such as older constellations of the DKBA, which have formalised ceasefire agreements with the Burmese government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry battalions are assigned two digit battalion numbers and light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers.  For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard ForceDemocratic Voice of Burma, August 2010, and, “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.

[4] This refers to a case of sexual assault committed by BGF Battalion #1014 Sergeant Saw Dah Tu against a local villager, Ma S---. Further information on this incident can be found in the following KHRG News Bulletin: “Rape and sexual harassment in Hpapun District, June and August 2013,” KHRG, November 2013.

[5] On January 12th 2012, a preliminary ceasefire agreement was signed between the KNU and Burma/Myanmar government in Hpa-an. Negotiations for a longer-term peace plan are still under way. For updates on the peace process, see the KNU Stakeholder webpage on the Myanmar Peace Monitor website. For KHRG's analysis of changes in human rights conditions since the ceasefire, see Truce or Transition? Trends in human rights abuse and local response since the 2012 ceasefire, KHRG, May 2014.