Against the backdrop of no rule of law, Burma was recently ranked the 5th worst in the world regarding economic freedom. The 2008 Constitution and the general elections scheduled for 2010 will only perpetuate military rule and stagnation. Transparent, fair and accountable institutions are necessary for development, which cannot coexist with rampant human rights abuses, corruption and political oppression. The United Nations Security Council should establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes in the country.
The increased militarization and political oppression of the past fifteen years had disastrous effects on the status of women in Burma. The 2008 Constitution, which will be enacted after the 2010 elections, includes significant measures that will further curtail women’s rights and indicates that the 2010 elections will do little to improve women’s status. The women of Burma face unthinkable violence, limited educational, economic, and political opportunities, as well as significant hardships when forced to work abroad.
Under the ruling Military Junta, the Burmese people live with perpetual crises, whether related to the economy, politics, food or the environment. These have combined to create a situation of extreme poverty, lack of basic rights and increasingly deteriorating social conditions. People’s organizations, which may constitute a part of civil society in the future, are underdeveloped, banned or persecuted by the Government. Rights are reserved only for the military elite and their cronies, while the most vulnerable citizens are disproportionately affected by crises and disaster.



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