Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hardship and human rights violations continue among Burma cyclone survivors

Date:
May 9, 2010
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
The survivors of Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma (also known as Myanmar) in May 2008, continue to face challenges in rebuilding their lives, in lack of access to relief and reconstruction efforts, and in violations of basic rights more than one year after the storm, according to a study.

The survivors of Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma (also known as Myanmar) in May 2008, continue to face challenges in rebuilding their lives, in lack of access to relief and reconstruction efforts, and in violations of basic rights more than one year after the storm, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Emergency Assistance Team -- Burma.

The study is published May 7 in the journal Conflict and Health. Accounts from survivors and relief workers show that necessities such as food, potable water, shelter and medicine remained insufficient for many a year after the disaster. According to the researchers, a lack of support to help rebuild livelihoods and worsening household debt have precluded survivors from accessing healthcare services, which were inadequate before Cyclone Nargis.

"Accounts of survivors and independent relief workers one year after the cyclone make clear that the basic needs remain unmet for many survivors -- a situation made worse by Burma's military rulers who continued to hamper the recovery effort and to limit access by independent relief workers," said study co-author Chris Beyrer, MD, professor and director of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Bloomberg School.

For the study, a network of community-based organizations, known as the Emergency Assistance Team-Burma, worked on the ground to conduct an assessment of the human rights conditions in Burma immediately following Cyclone Nargis. In response to the cyclone -- a storm that killed an estimated 138,000 people and affected 2.4 million people -- the team was formed within days after the storm's landfall. The assessment found that community aid efforts faced government restrictions and harassment, including the threat of arrest of independent relief workers. Storm survivors reported land confiscation, misappropriation of reconstruction materials and governmental restrictions on communication and information, all of which continued in 2009.

Similar reports have been released by human rights organizations, most notably the Human Rights Watch report "I Want to Help My Own People," which indicated that denial of basic rights, lack of clean water, sanitation, health resources and unjustified restrictions of aid continue. The same report noted that a positive outcome of the storm was the expansion of community-based initiatives, such as the Emergency Assistance Team-Burma, in response to local natural disasters and other humanitarian crises.

"The team's ability to quickly provide appropriate relief services and conduct these assessments reaffirms the key role of community-based organizations in responding to disasters, particularly in challenging settings such as Burma, where official restrictions on humanitarian assistance are extensive," said Beyrer.

He added, "Community organizations like Emergency Assistance Team-Burma are well positioned, given their knowledge of the area and trust by the community, to independently assess human rights conditions in response to complex humanitarian emergencies such as Cyclone Nargis. Efforts of this nature must be encouraged, particularly in settings where human rights abuses have been documented and censorship is widespread."

Authors of "Community-Based Assessment of Human Rights in a Complex Humanitarian Emergency: The Emergency Assistance Teams-Burma and Cyclone Nargis" include Voravit Suwanvanichkij, Noriyuki Murakami, Catherine I Lee, Jen Leigh, Andrea L Wirtz, Brock Daniels, and Chris Beyrer of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights, and Mahn Mahn and Dr. Cynthia Maung of Emergency Assistance Team-Burma.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Voravit Suwanvanichkij, Noriyuki Murakami, Catherine I Lee, Jen Leigh, Andrea L Wirtz, Brock Daniels, Mahn Mahn, Cynthia Maung, Chris Beyrer. Community-based assessment of human rights in a complex humanitarian emergency: the Emergency Assistance Teams-Burma and Cyclone Nargis. Conflict and Health, 2010; 4 (1): 8 DOI: 10.1186/1752-1505-4-8

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Hardship and human rights violations continue among Burma cyclone survivors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100507175254.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2010, May 9). Hardship and human rights violations continue among Burma cyclone survivors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100507175254.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Hardship and human rights violations continue among Burma cyclone survivors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100507175254.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins