Protecting civilians in armed conflict


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Fighting between the Government and numerous armed non-State actors (ANSAs) representing particular ethnic groups has gone on for decades. Violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and human rights have plagued the country, particularly in border areas.

The new National League for Democracy (NLD) government took power in March 2016 and has sought to build on the achievements of its predecessor, but by pursuing a different approach. It held a major meeting in August and September—the so-called ‘21st Century Panglong Conference’. The conference was open to ANSAs that had signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), and to many—but not all—that had yet to do so.

Despite the majority of ANSAs being in ceasefire agreements with the government and/or participating in the peace process, fighting continues to occur sporadically between government forces and ANSAs in various locations. More recently, there have also been clashes between ANSAs.


Thematic areas of work in this country
Humanitarian_norms_dark Landmine_ban_dark Gender_issues_dark Child_protection_dark
Humanitarian norms Landmine ban Gender issues Child protection

Geneva Call has been active in Burma/Myanmar since 2003. Although it continues to work in engaging with ANSAs to ban the use of anti-personnel (AP) mines, it also seeks to promote and facilitate mine action throughout its network. Since 2010, it has been both raising awareness and securing commitments in relation to humanitarian norms protecting children in armed conflict and prohibiting sexual violence and against gender discrimination.

Main Achievements 

  • Several ANSAs have signed one or more of the Deeds of Commitment. (see the table below)
  • After signing the Deed of Commitment banning AP mines, the Chin National Front reported that it had cleared and destroyed around 3,000 AP mines taken from four different locations along the border with India, together with stockpiled improvised explosive device components.
  • Other ANSAs have adopted policies reducing AP mine impact on civilians and/or agreed to facilitate mine action in areas under their control.
  • Broader attention has been paid to the landmine issue in Burma/Myanmar through a Geneva Call report on the impact of landmines in Burma/Myanmar and a video on the landmine threat.
  • The signatories to all three Deeds of Commitment are taking measures to implement their obligations and co-operate in the monitoring of these instruments.
  • In 2015, ANSAs signatory to Deeds of Commitment took measures to ensure their enforcement.
  • In 2015, 3 workshops involved 188 officers from the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army and the Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (South) to improve their knowledge about the Deed of Commitment protecting children in armed conflict .


In Burma/Myanmar, Geneva Call works or has worked with the following armed non-State actors:

Organization Active Thematic areas
Landmine ban Child protection Gender issues Humanitarian norms
All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF) Yes
Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) Yes
Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO) No
  • Chin National Front/Army (CNF/CNA) Yes
  • Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) Yes
    Kachin Independence Organisation/Army (KIO/KIA) Yes
    Karen National Union Peace Council/Karen National Liberation Army Peace Council (KNU-PC/KNLA-PC) Yes
    Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA) Yes
  • Karenni National Peoples Liberation Front (KNPLF) Yes
    Karenni National Progressive Party/Karenni Army (KNPP/KA) Yes
  • Lahu Democratic Front (LDF) No
  • Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) Yes
    National Unity Party of Arakan (NUPA) No
  • New Mon State Party/Mon National Liberation Army (NMSP/ MNLA) Yes
  • Pa’O National Liberation Organization / Pa’O National Liberation Army (PNLO/PNLA) Yes
  • Pa’O Peoples Liberation organization (PPLO) No
  • Palaung State Liberation Front / Taan National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA) Yes
  • Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (South) (RCSS/SSA-S) Yes
    Shan State Progressive Party / Shan State Army (North) (SSPP/SSA-N) Yes
    Wa National Organisation (WNO) Yes
    Click on the ticks to display the signed Deeds of Commitment

    The ANSA is being engaged by Geneva Call on this thematic area


    The ANSA was engaged by Geneva Call on this thematic area


    The ANSA has signed the Deed of Commitment on this thematic area