Farmers regain their farmlands

Published: Nov 6, 2013 Reading time: 2 minutes
Farmers regain their farmlands
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U Toe Gyi* and his family have been farming on their five acres of land in Myanmar's Magway Division for over three generations. In spring 2013, just after he had planted sesame seeds for the next season all his land was confiscated by the authorities. He and many other farmers, who lost together over 100 acres, never received any compensation and the land was handed over to an international company. U Toe Gyi and his family were forced to look for other sources of income and became unable to continue sending their three children to school.


At this difficult time, U Toe Gyi and the other farmers affected by the land-grab reached for assistance to a local civil society organisation which was just starting to provide trainings on land rights in the area. “They helped us a lot. Thanks to them we managed to involve media and tell our story to others. And we were heard.” says U Toe Gyi.

With the assistance from the local civil society organisation, farmers prepared a joint letter of complaint to the Parliamentary Land Investigation Committee. The committee investigated the issue and eventually recognised the farmers’ demands as justified. The farmers regained access to their land in July 2013. U Toe Gyi's family can now resume its normal life and with money he earns from the field he can again send his children to school.

*Names of places and people have been changed to protect their identity.

Since 2012 People In Need (PIN) has supported over 30local civil society organisations with trainings and financial grants to carry out their activities; often in remote, ethnic areas of the country. As one of the first international NGOs working on human rights with a direct presence in Myanmar, PIN cooperates with an extensive network of local civil society organisations to protect human rights.



Autor: Hana Vitnerová, Coordinator, Burmese Projects