Violence against any minority population of an area is globally recognized as a form of sexual and gender based discrimination that results in physical, sexual or mental suffering, and overall, an attack on the basic human rights of the affected people.
Women, girls, boys, men and transgenders in Myanmar are perennially confronted with sexual violence perpetrated by the military and security forces, as part of a devised strategy to inflict pain on the indigenous minorities and to terrorise the civilian population as a whole. Myanmar’s military manifests a certain genocidal intent as numerous accounts of widespread rape, mutilation of reproductive organs and severe injuries to the victims have been reported. The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar reported that most of these assaults were directed at the female population who were brutally beaten and held as sex slaves on military bases, and also reported sexual torture of men.
The report stated that more than 7,00,000 people belonging to ethnic groups fled to Bangladesh in fear of the military. Many of these acts amount to heinous crimes but the government of Myanmar remains a silent spectator to the grave injustice caused to its people. Comprehensive strategies should be developed to prevent and respond to violence, exploitation and abuse. There is a need to hold the wrongdoers accountable for their unlawful acts and provide the people of Myanmar with the justice that they deserve. Specific attention to the risk factors for violence is indispensable because when they accumulate, they not only contribute to the fundamental causes of violence but also mitigate the protective factors which prevent its eventuality. Risk factors such as gender inequality and discrimination must be eliminated from Myanmar as soon as possible to ensure that the people can lead peaceful lives.
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