Imagine: you live in a wooden house with basic utilities and you depend on your nearby farmland for the livelihood of your family. Private companies, government officials and ethnic armed organisations are interested in your land, but you have no way to defend yourself.
In Myanmar, decades of civil war and abuses by the military and other actors have created an atmosphere of fear and mistrust in institutions. The recent bilateral ceasefire agreements between the ethnic armed organisations and the military have given you some hope, but there is still no peace agreement in place which sets a clear line between the violent past and a more promising future. Your own future livelihood may depend on the help of civil society organisations and the legal assistance they may provide. This is the reality of many people belonging to ethnic minorities such as the Mon and Karen people in South East Myanmar.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) works to assist the conflict-affected communities in Myanmar protecting their land. We've conducted a micro level analysis of the situation in Mon State, at the heart of the South East. To address land disputes, the report recommends strengthening information, counselling and legal assistance services and building capacities and institutions.