KWO New Report: Salt In The Wound

On this important day, 25th of November we recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Today we pay tribute to all women who have suffered violence, and we honour your strength.

As part of KWO’s efforts to eliminate violence against women, we take part every year in the “16 Days of Activism” Campaign, which also starts today, and closes on December 10th, the International Day for Human Rights. We will be conducting many events and activities in our community over the next 16 days and hope these will contribute in some way to make change that reduces violence against women.

Today we are proud to launch a new KWO report about SGBV cases in the refugee camps. The report is called “Salt in the Wound: Justice Outcomes and SGBV Cases in the Karen refugee camps, 2011-13”.

The report documents the results of research into the justice outcomes of 289 cases of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in the seven Karen-majority refugee campslocated along the Thai-Burma border. The results of our research are staggering, and provide ample evidence for the need for change.

In the vast majority (80%) of all the SGBV cases in six of the seven camps, women received inadequate justice responses. Even in cases of sexual violence, including rape, we found that there were very weak responses by the judicial systems. The inadequate justice outcomes include perpetrators just signing an agreement to say that they won’t do it again (usually with no follow up to ensure that they don’t), or paying a small fine to the authorities (usually with zero compensation for the victim) or almost no action at all by authorities. This is not good enough for crimes of violence.

We ask that you download our report, read it, and allow it to motivate you to take action for change. Join us in the important work of eliminating violence against women.

Please Click here for English Version of Full Report:

Please Click here for Karen Version of Full Report:

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KWO Press Release on Launching New Report “Salt in the Wound”

KWO Formal Message on 65th Karen Martyr’s Day, 12th August, 2015 Karen Version

KWO Formal Message on 65th Karen Martyr’s Day 2015.pdf Karen Version

In recognition and remembrance of our up coming 65th Karen Martyr’s Day, KWO Central sending out our Formal Message to all Karen People to remind all of us of the important day for our Karen people.

May all Karen Martyr’s souls rest in peace!

May all Karen Martyr’s families be blessed and full of prosperity!

May all Karen people united!

Strong Evidence Supporting the Tragic Conclusion that Two Kachin Teachers Have Been Raped and Murdered by Burmese Army

KWO Supports the statements below from the Women’s League of Burma and the Kachin Women’s Association.  It is time for these horrific human rights violations to end. (statements below in English and Burmese)

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Ethnic Women ‘Ignored, Abused And Victimized’

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“We are not only ignored, we are being abused and victimized. The peace talks don’t include a significant or meaningful level of women participants on the Burmese side or the ethnic side. Continue reading “Ethnic Women ‘Ignored, Abused And Victimized’”

KWO delighted to anounce the launch of the revised and updated version of ARM (Automatic Response Mechanism)

We pay tribute to the women and girls from Burma who have suffered great injustices,
but whose courage and strength inspire us.

Today, the 5th of April 2014 is KWO Day and we are pleased to announce the launch of the revised and updated version of ARM (Automatic Response Mechanism). ARM is intended to be used as the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to respond to cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the 7 Karen refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. The information and advice in ARM will be useful for those involved in SGBV cases: the victim, her family and friends, organisations and structures in our community that give services or support, national and international organisations that give services or support to refugees.

ARM SOP  English Version ( Cover) ARM SOP  English Version Cover

The original ARM was released in 2003 as a document that gives advice and guidance to support women and girls who have suffered sexual or physical violence. Continue reading “KWO delighted to anounce the launch of the revised and updated version of ARM (Automatic Response Mechanism)”

KWO Message for the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (English Version)

 Karen Women’s Organization (KWO)

Message for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 

On this day, 25th November 2013, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, KWO is launching a 16-Day Campaign calling for the elimination of violence against women. The awareness raising campaign will take place in the 7 Karen refugee camps and 5 districts inside Karen State. Participants will gain knowledge on how to prevent and stop violence against women, compete in speeches and debates, and participate in community activities aimed at advocating for the protection of women.

“If you see someone committing violence against women, you must stop them. Not stopping violence makes everyone guilty. Victims of violence can seek help from KWO. If victims live in a refugee camp, they can access one of KWO’s safe houses where they will have a safe place to stay and be provided with some material needs and counseling. Victims inside Karen state can get assistance from the KWO leader in their district or township.”

–        Naw K’nyaw Paw, KWO Secretary

To read the entire message, click the link below:

KWO Message for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 25 Nov 2013

Karen Women’s Organisation condemns Burmese Army Attacks on Kachin Villagers

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This past Tuesday, 22 October, the Burmese Army brutally attacked 2 villages in Southern Kachin State.  This is in direct violation of the agreement signed by the Government and the Kachin National Organisation just 12 days previously.  The attack was launched by 7 Burmese army battalions.  These attacks affected several camps where approximately 2400 Internally Displaced People (IDP’S) have been living and are now threatened yet again.

“Local witnesses stated that 60mm heavy artillery shells landed near the school in the IDP camp. Burmese soldiers looted IDPs’ belongings and arrested eight villagers from Kong Ja Village and two from Mung Ding Pa village, including a child aged about 12. These inhumane actions forced many of the refugees to flee for their lives. Some elderly and infirm people and children and have taken refuge in the Mung Ding Pa village church.” (Kachin National Organisation, press release 23 October 2013)

The Karen Women’s Organisation strongly condemns this attack on innocent people and the looting of supplies and belongings of those who have the least in our community. There have been reports of rape and other human rights violations.  Women have always suffered as victims of war and this terrible attack is yet another instance of the abuse the women of Burma have suffered at the hands of the military.

The International community should intervene to stop this and other human rights violations by the Burmese army and its government. We question the Burmese commitment to true peace when these actions are allowed to occur. We, like all ethnic peoples of Burma, stand with the Kachin people against these violations of all our rights.

War and Peace – A woman’s view , Interview with KWO Secretary

Naw K’nyaw Paw, an executive member of the Karen Women’s Organization, in an exclusive interview with Karen News spoke about the need for women to be included in peace talks as stipulated under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, the impact of drugs and gambling on family life and the added stresses women now face in Burma’s changing political landscape…

Read more: karennews.org/2013/09/war-and-peace-a-womans-view-part-1.html/ and Part 2 karennews.org/2013/09/war-and-peace-a-womans-view-part-2.html/