Forced recruitment

Forced recruitment

This category includes incidents in which villagers, including children under the age of 18, were forced to register or serve in government or ethnic armed forces, including the Tatmadaw, Tatmadaw Border Guard, Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and pyithu sit (local militia). Forced recruitment orders are usually given to village heads, requiring a certain number of villagers to act as troops, while the Tatmadaw and DKBA have also been known to arbitrarily arrest villagers before forcing them into their ranks. After villagers are forced to join an armed group against their will, they are usually required to participate in basic military training followed by service spanning periods of time ranging from one month, as in the pyithu sit, or indefinitely, in some cases of villagers who have been interviewed after deserting the ranks of the Tatmadaw. Forced recruitment has often been accompanied by arbitrary taxation and demands, and includes the recruitment of child soldiers. In order to avoid recruitment into an armed force, villagers have evaded Tatmadaw and ethnic armed groups by choosing strategic displacement or hiding, negotiating alternative terms such as the payment of money in lieu of service, or through providing false information on household numbers in a given area to reduce the number of recruits requested. Current: 2012 During 2012, several incidents of forced recruitment into the DKBA and DKBA breakaway groups were reported by villagers in eastern Myanmar. In January 2012 KHRG interviewed a village head from Papun District who had organised a cash payment of 1,000,000kyat US ($1,135) to a DKBA general in order for the release of a villager who was denied permission to leave the DKBA after being forcibly recruited. The money was raised by family and friends of the villager. 2011 2011 saw numerous instances of forced recruitment. Forced recruitment was reported in all seven geographic research areas. The instances documented include forced recruitment accompanied by arbitrary taxation and demands, and the payment by villagers of salaries and money in lieu of forced recruitment. Villagers in eastern Myanmar also reported forced recruitment of child soldiers during 2011. Villagers reported that they were forced to join an armed group against their will, and that irregular and unpredictable taxes were levied on local villagers in order to pay salaries for the new recruits. In April 2011 community members from Hpa’an District reported that a group of 12 village heads were ordered to provide a total of 71 villagers to serve 18 months for the Tatmadaw Border Guard or to provide 50,000 baht in lieu of each soldier. Community members from Thaton district reported in December 2011 that the Tatmadaw had demanded 200 000 kyat (US $259.74)per month for a total of three months in order for villagers from Thaton Distirict to avoid forced recruitment. In December 2011, a community member from Papun reported that the DKBA regularly compels the parents of any soldier who has deserted to act on his behalf until the villager in question returns to duty. In one reported incident, a villager’s elderly father had to take his place in the army until the villager returned. Only once the deserter had returned was his father given leave to return to his home. Forced recruitment was also specifically linked to child soldiering in 2011. KHRG reported in December that 17 year old children were regularly being forced into the ranks of the DKBA, or that villagers were forced to make large cash payments totalling 1,500,000 Kyat (US $1833.74) instead. A villager in Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District, raised concerns regarding the registration of a 14-year-old boy for military service by Tatmadaw Border Guard commander Bo K’Tee; an interview with the boy and a separate interview with his father confirmed that the boy was registered for service but had not, as of March 20th 2011, been called for active duty yet. Children who refuse to be conscripted have been threatened with imprisonment. A split within the DKBA occasioned additional forced recruitment. Some DKBA members were incorporated in the Tatmadaw as Border Guard Forces. Others resisted, and established a pyithu sit people’s militia near the bank of the Khoh Lo Kloh (Salween River). Five people from each village in the area had to join the pyithu sit. Each villager who joined had to serve in the pyithu sit for one month. If no one joined the pyithu sit, the village had to pay 50,000 kyat (US $64.94)

CATEGORIZED BY:

E.g., 2017-03-28
E.g., 2017-03-28

Pages

E.g., 2017-03-28
E.g., 2017-03-28

SUPPORT US

CLICK HERE to find out how you can help.

FEATURED LINKS