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April 02, 2020

Rule of law central to rehabilitation efforts in Kachin

The incumbent government is giving priority to ethnic affairs and working to establish complete peace in the country.
The government considers reduction and prevention of conflict as sine qua non for ethnic areas and is giving priority to it in order to ensure these areas do not lag in development.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is undertaking measures, in accordance with the law, to boost preparedness for natural and man-made disasters.
While there are a number of displaced people and internal migrants due to conflicts in our country, Phakant, or the jade land, in Kachin State has attracted a large number of migrant miners searching for lesser quality jade discarded by large mining companies.
When miners began using heavy machinery to extract jade from mines in Myanmar in 2005, migrant workers across the country flocked to the area to scavenge for small jade stones from discarded soil.
In spite of the presence of job opportunities in Hpakant, migrant workers have been working illegally, risking their lives. Jade from Phakant is well-known across the world. Tax from jade has greatly benefited our country. But, the area where jade is mined experiences deadly landslides every year, which kill dozens of miners
Shortcomings in following of safety regulations by both mining companies and migrant squatters pose challenges for local authorities in preventing landslides around jade mines in Kachin State.
To prevent such disasters, the Union Government needs to make more efforts for extending the rule of law in Hpakant, considering that the government is obliged to provide safe working conditions to migrant miners.
That’s why, a task force with 14 members was formed by the Union Government on 4 October, last year and tasked with 14 goals. Six sub-working groups were formed under the task force on the same day. Steps are being taken to ensure the safety of migrant miners.
Meanwhile, there have been issues in implementing measures to bring about socioeconomic development and rehabilitate displaced people from the IDP camps in Kachin State. The government needs to cooperate with the ethnic organizations to resolve them.
As the National Camps Closure Strategy has been approved by the Union Government, we hope that the resettlement and rehabilitation of people displaced by conflicts would improve and better jobs created for them.
For rehabilitating migrant workers and displaced people from IDP camps, the rule of law is most important in Phakant. The participation of migrant miners, local people, and businessmen is critical to maintaining peace and the rule of law in the area.

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