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

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

Published date:
Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This Incident Report describes forced labor and corruption in Bu Tho Township, Hpapun District in November 2013. Villagers reported that the village administrator in A--- village, Meh Ka Law village tract, misappropriated public money allocated to the building of a library, cutting corners by forcing villagers to work on the project for free.

Incident Report | Bu Tho Township, Hpapun District (November 2013)

The following Incident Report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor local human rights conditions. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security[1]. This report was received in January 2014 along with other information from Hpapun District, including seven other incident reports, 45 interviews, two situation updates and 711 photographs[2].  

Part 1 – Incident Details

Type of Incident

Forced labour

Date of Incident(s)

November 11th 2013

Incident Location

(Village, Township and District)

A--- village, Meh Ka Law village tract, Bu Tho Township, Mu Traw [Hpapun] District

 

Victim Information

Name

U D---

 

 

 

Age

42

 

 

 

Sex

Male

 

 

 

Nationality

Karen

 

 

 

Family   

Married

 

 

 

Occupation

Labourer

 

 

 

Religion

Buddhist

 

 

 

Position

Villager

 

 

 

Village

A--- village

 

 

 

 

Perpetrator Information

Name(s)              

Rank

Unit

Base

Commander’s Name

U Y---

Village administrator

A--- village

A---, Hpapun Township

U Z---

Part 2 - Information Quality

1. Explain in detail how you collected this information.

I met with U D--- and he told me about forced labour while I was collecting more detailed information about the stabbing case of O--- from H--- village. The government provided money to hire people, but U Y---, the village administrator, misappropriated the money and ordered the villagers to do forced labour. According to U D---, each day, 15 people had to work building a library, including children and elders.

 

2. Explain how the source verified this information.

I did not meet with U D--- in A--- village. I went and met with U D--- in H--- village. He refused to do the forced labour that was ordered by U Y---, village administrator, and came and gave me this information. He told me that [he had said to U Y---]: “You told me that I could complain that you ordered [the villagers to do forced labour], and I say that you can complain to any minister about me because I refused to do the forced labour that you ordered me to do.”

Part 3 – Complete Description of the Incident

Describe the Incident(s) in complete detail. For each incident, be sure to include 1) when the incident happened, 2) where it happened, 3) what happened, 4) how it happened, 5) who was involved, and 6) why it happened. Also describe any villager response(s) to the incident, the aftermath and the current living situation of the victims. Please use the space prepared below, and create an attachment if needed.

The incident that I am going to report about happened on November 11th 2013 in A--- village in Meh Ka Law village tract, Bu Tho Township, Mu Traw [Hpapun] District. The incident is forced labour. U Y--- is the one who ordered the forced labour. The villagers of A--- suffered and were forced to do forced labour. The incident happened like this; a [government] department from Hpapun Township (I do not know exactly which department) provided 3,000,000 kyat (US $3,024.31)[3] funding to A--- village to build a library and they gave it to the administrator of A---, U Y---. U Y--- bought cement and hired a builder to build the library and gave them 400,000 kyat (US $403.23) to finish the building, so he shouldn’t have needed to ask any other people to work to build the library. However, U Y--- hired only one builder and did not hire other labourers to assist the builder in building the library. Instead, he forced 15 villagers to work for him every day [on rotation] for a whole month without giving them any payment. Therefore, some of the villagers in A--- worked for him and some others refused to  work. Some of the villagers argued with U Y---. Some of the villagers were pretending that they did not know it [that they had been ordered to do force labour] because U Y--- did not take any action [against those who did not participate]. U Y--- did not know how KHRG would document it if he took action against those who refused to do forced labour. Sometimes they [U Y---] argued and sometimes they appealed to the people until they finished building the library without harming one another. The name of the library is [censored for security]. 

Part 4 - Permission for Using the Details

Did the victim(s) provide permission to use this information? Explain how that permission was provided.

U D--- allowed us to use this information as we want in the future.