The study “Community-Based Assessment of Human Rights in a Complex Humanitarian Emergency: The Emergency Assistance Teams-Burma and Cyclone Nargis” is published May 7 in the journal Conflict and Health. Accounts from survivors and relief workers show that necessities such as food, potable water, shelter and medicine remained insufficient for many a year after the disaster. According to the researchers, a lack of support to help rebuild livelihoods and worsening household debt have precluded survivors from accessing healthcare services, which were inadequate before Cyclone Nargis.
“Accounts of survivors and independent relief workers one year after the cyclone make clear that the basic needs remain unmet for many survivors—a situation made worse by Burma’s military rulers who continued to hamper the recovery effort and to limit access by independent relief workers,” said study co-author Chris Beyrer, MD, professor and director of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Bloomberg School.
For the study, a network of community-based organizations, known as the Emergency Assistance Team–Burma, worked on the ground to conduct an assessment of the human rights conditions in Burma immediately following Cyclone Nargis. In response to the cyclone—a storm that killed an estimated 138,000 people and affected 2.4 million people—the team was formed within days after the storm’s landfall. The assessment found that community aid efforts faced government restrictions and harassment, including the threat of arrest of independent relief workers. Storm survivors reported land confiscation, misappropriation of reconstruction materials and governmental restrictions on communication and information, all of which continued in 2009.
Similar reports have been released by human rights organizations, most notably the Human Rights Watch report “I Want to Help My Own People,” which indicated that denial of basic rights, lack of clean water, sanitation, health resources and unjustified restrictions of aid continue. The same report noted that a positive outcome of the storm was the expansion of community-based initiatives, such as the Emergency Assistance Team–Burma, in response to local natural disasters and other humanitarian crises.
“The team’s ability to quickly provide appropriate relief services and conduct these assessments reaffirms the key role of community-based organizations in responding to disasters, particularly in challenging settings such as Burma, where official restrictions on humanitarian assistance are extensive,” said Beyrer.
He added, “Community organizations like Emergency Assistance Team-Burma are well positioned, given their knowledge of the area and trust by the community, to independently assess human rights conditions in response to complex humanitarian emergencies such as Cyclone Nargis. Efforts of this nature must be encouraged, particularly in settings where human rights abuses have been documented and censorship is widespread.”
Authors of “Community-Based Assessment of Human Rights in a Complex Humanitarian Emergency: The Emergency Assistance Teams-Burma and Cyclone Nargis” include Voravit Suwanvanichkij, Noriyuki Murakami, Catherine I Lee, Jen Leigh, Andrea L Wirtz, Brock Daniels, and Chris Beyrer of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights, and Mahn Mahn and Dr. Cynthia Maung of Emergency Assistance Team-Burma.
The publication is available at http://www.conflictandhealth.com/content/4/1/8.
Public Affairs media contact for JHSPH: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or email@example.com
Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy