Justice provision in south east Myanmar: experiences from conflict-affected areas with multiple governing authorities

Myanmar’s south east has long been characterised by conflict between the central government and various ethnic armed organisations (EAOs), including the Karen National Union (KNU). The resulting patchwork of governance structures – including those of the government, the KNU, or a mix of the two – has meant that people access justice services in very different ways.

This report, which is part of the Peace Research Partnership, explores how justice is provided and accessed in four locations under different governance arrangements, and shows how this varies from place to place. The locations included in the research include an urban ward under government control, a village fully administered by the KNU, a village officially administered by the government but which is influenced by two EAOs, the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army and the KNU, and a militia group, and a village under mixed KNU and government administration.

The findings are meant to inform international aid agencies with a detailed account of how people perceive and experience justice in their communities, and how these systems function in practice. It should also help inform policy and practice around justice in south east Myanmar.

Read more about the Peace Research Partnership. This material has been funded by UK aid from the UK government; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.