215137 Population-based survey of health and human rights: Documenting crimes against humanity in Burma

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 5:42 PM - 6:00 PM

Richard Sollom, MA, MPH , Physicians for Human Rights, Cambridge, MA
Adam Richards, MD, MPH , Department of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Burma is one of the most war-prone countries in the world, having experienced over 200 years of conflict. During the past five decades of continuous military rule, Burmans and ethnic minorities have suffered from systematic and widespread human rights violations including murder and extrajudicial killings, forcible transfer of population, forced labor and enslavement, recruitment of child soldiers, torture, and state-sanctioned rape. Physicians for Human Rights is currently employing multi-stage cluster sampling to assess these health and human rights abuses in Burma. In 2010 PHR will conduct 2000-3000 heads-of-household interviews among four distinct Burmese populations (Chin, Arakan, Shan, Karen).

The health and human rights survey includes basic background and demographic variables, access to health care (geographic access to care, financial access to care, non-discriminatory access to care, and access to health information), food insecurity, forced displacement, forced labor, and other crimes against humanity. All human-rights-related questions pertain to the past 12 months only. Health outcomes include overall health status, acute malnutrition (MUAC), depression (PHQ-2), and child diarrhea. The research addresses the following questions: 1) Do the alleged human rights violations in Burma amount to crimes against humanity as defined by the 2005 Rome Treaty? 2) What are the patterns of these rights abuses and are they widespread or systematic? 3) What are the community- and household-level associations between these violations and health status, access to health services, food insecurity, and malnutrition?

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the community- and individual-level associations between human rights violations and health status, access to health services, food insecurity, and malnutrition in Burma.

Keywords: Human Rights, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am Director of Research and Investigations at Physicians for Human Rights and am PI of this research project in Burma.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3413.0: War and Social Injustice