Myanmar has been undergoing a political transition since 2011, when a semi-civilian government came to power, implementing significant, albeit limited, democratic reforms. Despite initial optimism and increased civic space, successive governments have done little to address the legacy of colonial-era laws that repress gender and sexual minorities. This includes Section 377 of the Penal Code, criminalising homosexuality, and a law against 'hiding in shadows' that give broad powers to the police to arrest gender and sexual minorities who are in public places at night. In addition, gender and sexual minorities continue to struggle with social forms of stigma and abuse, the risks of which have increased with the rise of extremist forms of Buddhist nationalism. This article provides an overview of the current legal situation and key human rights challenges that sexual and gender minorities face in Myanmar.
|Australian Journal of Asian Law
|Published - 2019