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Myanmar:
Military & Transnational Issues

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Other pages in this profile of Myanmar:
Geography, People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation,
Military branches
Definition
Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw): Army, Navy, Air Force (Tatmadaw Lay) (2008)
Military service age and obligation
Definition
18 years of age for voluntary military service for both sexes; forced conscription of children, although officially prohibited, reportedly continues (2007)
Manpower available for military service
Definition
males age 16-49: 13,402,788
females age 16-49: 13,437,042 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service
Definition - World rank and map
males age 16-49: 9,031,046
females age 16-49: 9,396,547 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Definition
males age 16-49: 423,809
females age 16-49: 415,843 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
Definition - World rank and map
2.1% (2005 est.)
Disputes - international
Definition
over half of Burma's population consists of diverse ethnic groups who have substantial numbers of kin in neighboring countries; Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic refugees, asylum seekers, and rebels, as well as illegal cross-border activities from Burma; Thailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween River near the border with Burma; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China is reconsidering construction of 13 dams on the Salween River but energy-starved Burma with backing from Thailand remains intent on building five hydro-electric dams downstream, despite identical regional and international protests; India seeks cooperation from Burma to keep Indian Nagaland separatists, such as the United Liberation Front of Assam, from hiding in remote Burmese Uplands; after 21 years, Bangladesh resumes talks with Burma on delimiting a maritime boundary in January 2008
Refugees and internally displaced persons
Definition
IDPs: 503,000 (government offensives against ethnic insurgent groups near the eastern borders; most IDPs are ethnic Karen, Karenni, Shan, Tavoyan, and Mon) (2007)
Trafficking in persons
Definition
current situation: Burma is a source country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; Burmese women and children are trafficked to East and Southeast Asia for commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced labor; Burmese children are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Thailand as hawkers, beggars, and for work in shops, agriculture, fish processing, and small-scale industries; women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to Malaysia and China; some trafficking victims transit Burma from Bangladesh to Malaysia and from China to Thailand; internal trafficking occurs primarily from villages to urban centers and economic hubs for labor in industrial zones, agricultural estates, and commercial sexual exploitation; military and civilian officials continue to use a significant amount of forced labor; ethnic insurgent groups also used compulsory labor of adults and unlawful recruitment of children; the military junta's gross economic mismanagement, human rights abuses, and its policy of using forced labor are the top causal factors for Burma's significant trafficking problem
tier rating: Tier 3 - Burma does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; military and civilian officials remain directly involved in significant acts of forced labor and unlawful conscription of child soldiers (2008)
Illicit drugs
Definition
remains world's second largest producer of illicit opium with an estimated production in 2005 of 380 metric tons, up 13% from 2004 and cultivation in 2005 was 40,000 hectares, a 10% increase from 2004; the decline in opium production in the United Wa State Army's areas of greatest control was more than offset by increases in south and east Shan state; lack of government will to take on major narcotrafficking groups and lack of serious commitment against money laundering continues to hinder the overall antidrug effort; major source of methamphetamine and heroin for regional consumption; currently under Financial Action Task Force countermeasures due to continued failure to address its inadequate money-laundering controls (2005)


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