I led this ambitious survey, working with a fantastic and expansive team.
Saferworld and the Karen Peace Support Network present unprecedented insights into peoples’ perceptions of security, justice and governance in south east Myanmar.
In 2017 and 2018, we spoke to over 2,000 people across 72 villages across south east Myanmar about their experiences during the 69-year-old armed conflict between the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and the Karen National Union.
We found that people in Myanmar’s Karen ceasefire areas face severe insecurity amid protracted armed conflict, routine violence, abuse and exploitation. Eighty per cent of households stated experiences of violence or abuse by the authorities, such as shootings and burning of villages. The survey also found relatively high levels of legitimacy of the KNU controlled areas, low levels of trust in the peace process, and fairly high levels of anxiety that fighting will break out again.
Our survey constitutes a unique evidence base to support more conflict-sensitive humanitarian and developmental assistance. It is intended to support efforts to address the root causes of conflict and insecurity.