The Politics of Protection in Burma

Beyond the Humanitarian Mainstream

Author: Ashley South


This article explores how people living in areas of Burma/Myanmar affected by armed conflict (Karen populations in the southeast) and natural disaster (Cyclone Nargis in the Irrawaddy Delta) understand "protection" and act to minimize risks and protect themselves, their families, and communities. What do vulnerable people seek to protect, and how do they view the roles of other stakeholders, including the state, non-state actors (armed and political groups), community-based organizations, and national and international aid agencies? Are these viewed as protection actors, or sources of threat – or a mixture of both?

Countries: Burma

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© UN Photo/UNHCR, Yangon, Myanmar