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Human rights violations widespread in eastern Burma
Date:10/5/2007

e of 13.3 injuries per 10,000 persons per year.

The key findings of the relationship between human rights violations and poor population-level health indicators include:

  • The risk of death among children younger than five years was five times higher among households that reported multiple human rights violations
  • There was a substantial increased risk of landmine injuries among households that reported forced displacement or food theft or destruction
  • Poor nutritional status among children was associated with forced displacement and food theft or destruction
  • Deaths at any age were more often reported by households that experienced forced displacement or food theft or destruction

These data are from 2004, a period in which there was less active conflict in eastern Burma, relative to the current situation. In recent days, the international community has witnessed the military juntas violent crackdown against the non-violent demonstrations calling for the restoration of democracy led by Burmas revered Buddhist monks and nuns, said Mullany. The Back Pack Health Worker's survey demonstrates the impact of this regimes policy of oppression against the Burmese people, especially displaced ethnic minorities in eastern Burma. Systematic human rights violations in these communities lead to high risk of mortality, infectious morbidity and malnutrition.

The study authors explain that combining the collection of data on human rights violations and population-level health outcomes allows for quantifying the relationship between abuses and health status, complementing qualitative methods and facilitating advocacy efforts.

It is just this kind of hard evidence of the human toll of military misrule that the Burmese military regime has tried to suppress, points out study co-author Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH, who is director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights.

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Contact: Kenna Lowe
paffairs@jhsph.edu
410-955-6878
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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