When an ethical boycott backfires

As published with Democratic Voice of Burma. View original here

Propped up by a set of brass coils encircling her neck, Mapaung’s head turns stiffly to survey the deserted village of Kayan Tharyar. Beyond the mountains in the background lies her homeland – Burma.

It’s another quiet day in the village. No more than five years ago, hordes of tourists would flock in by the busload to gawk at the women who live here, take photos and, with any luck, buy some souvenirs.

But now, amid continuing campaigns by human rights organisations and ethical tourism agencies to ‘Stop the Human Zoo’ in northwestern Thailand, the steady stream of visitors has dried up. And so has their money.

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INTERVIEW – Kachin women fight back

As published with Democratic Voice of Burma. View the original here. 

The Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) has called on the international community to increase pressure on the Burmese government to end ethnic conflict in the Shan and Kachin States, as the estimated number of people displaced by the fighting continues to rise.

In a press release issued on 9 June, KWAT levels accusations of human rights abuses at the Burmese military, including the rape and murder of two Kachin volunteer teachers, and the attempted rape of a 73-year-old woman earlier in 2015.

DVB’s Melanie Keyte sat down with Moon Nay Li and Shirley Seng from the women’s organisation to talk about the ongoing conflict in Burma’s northern states and the difficulties facing Kachin women.

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