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Current hydropower project practice compromises economic and social rights

On International Human Rights Day (IHRD) 2017, Spectrum releases the most comprehensive piece of research ever done on hydropower related resettlement in Myanmar from a gender perspective and there is much to be learnt.

The theme of this years’ IHRD “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.” is linked to the 50th anniversary of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Director David Allan notes “These are both rights conventions of great relevance to the matters addressed in the research, which highlights the major unaddressed economic and social impacts as a result of hydropower resettlement. The research findings are also strongly linked to the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights – or the PROTECT, RESPECT, REMEDY framework as it is commonly known”.

The attached briefer “Women & Resettlement: A case study of gender aspects at the Upper Paunglaung Dam” is a summary of research work done over 2014 to 2017. Director David Allan emphasises “People’s rights were not protected, or respected as part of the process. As a result economic and social impacts are large. Remedy is now needed to address the hydropower project’s shortcomings and help communities recover from the abuse of their rights.”

Current practices in hydropower projects in Myanmar represent long term economic and social rights abuse. Much change is needed in the conduct of hydropower projects to overcome the many limitations identified in the study.

The briefer contains many recommendations relevant for improvements. A Myanmar version will be available shortly.

Please download “Women & Resettlement: A case study of gender aspects at the Upper Paunglaung Dam”

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