Why Burma

Even under a new nominally civilian government, the legacy of decades of military rule has left Burma a nation where few children are experiencing free, full lives.
Here are just some reasons why.


One year after signing a UN agreement to end the practice of using child soldiers, only 108 children have been released. The army continues to actively recruit children and to date the UN is still refused access to military sites for monitoring.


Spending a mere 4% of GDP on health, Burma’s healthcare system was last rated the 5th worst in the world. Preventable disease is prevenlant and maternal health is particularly poor.


Burma spent 1% of GDP on education in 2011. Up to 46% of 9 year olds have not completed the standard schooling level for that age, while in some areas of Shan State as few as 4% of children attend school.


Despite signing ceasefires with most ethnic groups, over 500,000 remain internally displaced. Ongoing conflict in Kachin State saw 30,000 newly displaced people alone in 2012, while the destruction of villages continues to this day.

Naw Moo Wa's Story

Naw Moo Wa and her six children lost their home and their father when their village was attacked by the Burma Army. Sadly, Naw Moo Wa’s story symbolises the story of so many in Burma. Broken by 60 years of military rule and oppression, the land once known as the Jewel of Asia has become a land of heartache and loss.

Why Burma
Still Needs
Our Attention

When Aung San Suu Kyi was asked how, on a scale from one to ten, she ranked the current democracy in Burma, she answered: “We are on the way to one.” This illustrates well how far the country has left to go before real peace and democracy is obtained.

While it is true that many positive changes are occurring in Burma, many problems remain unsolved.

The Kachin continue to face ongoing attacks and displacement from the Burma Army despite several promised ceasefires from Burma’s President Thein Sein. Over 70,000 remain displaced from this conflict alone. In western Burma, sectarian violence continues to this day, with over 100,00 Rohingya displaced and facing horrific conditions. Thousands are without food, shelter, medicine or other basic essentials. People are dying every day from malnutrition, with children particularly vulnerable.

Poverty and hardship are still the story for many right across the country. The tradition of human rights abuses by the Burma Army, including rape, torture, forced labor, landmine usage, confiscation of land and pillaging of natural resources all still continue today.

As sanctions are lifted, foreign investment increases and media around the world praise the government for it’s reforms, statistic after statistic and reports from our team on the ground paint another picture - there is a lot that is not well in Burma, and the world must not forget this.

This is why Partners will continue to work as before and remind the people of Burma that they are loved and not forgotten.


Behind all the confronting statistics about Burma are stories of real people like Naw Moo Wa. It’s because of this we are working to change the statistics and see these stories of pain and suffering transformed to stories of hope and freedom. We are working to see free, full lives for children affected by conflict and oppression.

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