Conflict-related sexual violence has been a feature of fighting in Myanmar for decades – a crime explicitly singled out by the UN Secretary General since 2012. In most cases, Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, is identified as the perpetrator of the crimes. Multiple forms of violence are recorded, from rape, gang rape, coerced sex, forced marriage to rape with additional brutality and killing, sexual slavery, and other forms of sexual violence.

The military coup staged on 1 February expanded the brutal crackdown across the country, and has again seen sexual violence and harassment against political prisoners recently reported in the media. This follows crimes of sexual violence in recent years mostly targeting minority-ethnic communities, such as Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine State, which were widely reported as “a hallmark of the Tatmadaw”. Mostly women and girls are identified as targets of sexual violence, however, some reports identify men and boys as victims while under interrogation. Incidents of conflict-related sexual violence are often underreported due to stigma, concerns with personal safety, and limited services available to survivors.

Please click here to read the full “Supporting the victims of sexual violence in Myanmar” article published at The Interpreter, written by Griffith Asia Institute members, Phyu Phyu Oo and Professor Sara E Davies.