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Transnational Institute

The Meaning of Land in Myanmar

The Meaning of Land in Myanmar

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The Meaning of Land in Myanmar
A Primer

“Land is like our vein; it is vital for our living. After our land was confiscated, we don’t know what to do for our livelihood,” says a farmer from Kachin State in Myanmar. Today many inhabitants of rural communities in Myanmar live under threat of losing their lands in a battle for resources spurred by ethnic conflict, exploitative land laws, and powerful economic actors. The existence of a legal right to the land does not translate into that right being respected in practice, and people across the country are now working to protect their right to the land.


1 What is land and why is it important?
2 Why is land such a burning issue in Myanmar?
3 How is land related to debates about development?
4 Is there a human right to land?
5 What steps are people in Myanmar taking to express and assert their human right to land?

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