IAP strongly condemns the severe and escalating violence by the military junta against civil society in Myanmar since the coup on February 1st.
We stand in solidarity and support with our community and civil society partners who are experiencing brutality at the hands of the Tatmadaw, and are being targeted for their work to promote and protect fundamental rights and freedoms. We stand in solidarity and support with the people of Myanmar who are peacefully protesting for the return of power to their elected government and fighting for their right to determine the future of their country.
We condemn the bloodshed and crackdowns perpetrated by the Tatmadaw, with a rising death toll every day, including attacks on frontline doctors, medical workers, and health clinics. The Tatmadaw has also accused NGOs of supporting the civil disobedience movement (CDM) and has begun targeting NGO staff. While the protesters and CDM remain strong and audacious, the violence and tactics used by the military junta are inexcusable. IAP stands with our partners in Myanmar.
On March 17th, a coalition of 225 civil society organizations in Myanmar released an open letter, urging international financial institutions (IFIs) to collaborate directly with Myanmar civil society and other stakeholders, as any cooperation with the Tatmadaw would “jeopardize Myanmar’s COVID-19 response, legitimize the junta, and harm public health in the long term.”
Standing with our partners, IAP calls the attention of IFIs invested in Myanmar to Art. 2 of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development, which states that:
“The human person is the central subject of development and should be the active participant and beneficiary of the right to development.”
We remind IFIs that their investments should serve to realize the visions and priorities for development held by communities and civil society — the people of Myanmar. Without the possibility of their active participation and leadership in the development process, or for communities and civil society to benefit from projects implemented under a military regime, IFIs should reassess all investments, proposed and ongoing, in Myanmar.
IAP echoes the demands of the letter drafted by Myanmar civil society by calling on IFIs to:
- Publicly condemn the military coup and violence, and express support for communities and civil society in Myanmar to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms;
- Take concrete steps to ensure investments do not contribute to the ongoing and severe human rights abuses in-country;
- Ensure investments and IFI conduct do not legitimize or further entrench the military junta;
- Freeze all investment in Myanmar, both public and private sector, that are linked to or may serve to benefit the military junta;
- Reassess funding to the private sector in Myanmar, including through financial intermediaries, until communities and civil society’s rights to information, participation and development can be meaningfully fulfilled and projects can be undertaken with appropriate oversight in compliance with IFI safeguard policies;
- Put in place mechanisms to work directly with civil society to ensure that any necessary humanitarian and COVID-19 relief directly reach the people of Myanmar.
IAP stands in solidarity with our civil society and community partners who are bravely fighting for their fundamental rights and freedoms. We urge IFIs to prioritize human rights and stand with the people of Myanmar.
Links to Statements from CDM and Letters of Civil Society Support
- COVID-19 response in Myanmar: civil society organizations urge IFIs not to collaborate with the junta.
- International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and State Donors: stop loans fully reassess Myanmar policy in light of coup d’état.
- Letter to Asian Development Bank regarding Myanmar