Key fndings: This report focuses on vulnerable groups in Burma and access to basic services. The first part of the report outlines groups considered to be vulnerable and marginalised. These include minority ethnic groups (such as the Chin, Kachin, Karen, Karenni, Mon, Rohingyas, Shan). In some cases, minorities’ ethnic identity is closely linked with a religion other than the majority Buddhism. Other vulnerable groups are internally displaced persons (IDPs); women and girls; and children generally. Intersectionality of these identities can exacerbate vulnerability. For example, minority ethnic groups often live in conflict zones or areas with government authorised development projects. They are thus more likely to suffer from internal displacement, which brings additional challenges and insecurities. Additionally, women and girls from ethnic minority groups may be specifically targeted by armed forces and become victims of sexual violence.
The second part of the report discusses barriers to accessing basic services, focusing on education and health care. While some of these barriers affect the entire population, ethnic minority groups, IDPs, women and children are often particularly affected.
Barriers to accessing both education and health care include: severe under-investment in such services by the government, affecting both quantity and quality; high costs of accessing such services; and difficulties associated with armed conflict and displacement. Additional obstacles to education include low teacher salaries and training, which undermine the quality of education and in some cases encourages corrupt behavior; and discrimination against ethnic minority groups in terms of language of education and curriculum content. Additional obstacles to health services, in particular reproductive services, include cultural taboos about talking about reproductive health.