Military: Burma

Military branches:

Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw): Army (Tatmadaw Kyi), Navy (Tatmadaw Yay), Air Force (Tatmadaw Lay) (2013)

Military service age and obligation:

18-35 years of age (men) and 18-27 years of age (women) for voluntary military service; no conscription (a 2010 law reintroducing conscription has not yet entered into force); service obligation 2 years; male (ages 18-45) and female (ages 18-35) professionals (including doctors, engineers, mechanics) serve up to 3 years; service terms may be stretched to 5 years in an officially declared emergency; Burma signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 15 August 1991; on 27 June 2012, the regime signed a Joint Action Plan on prevention of child recruitment; in February 2013, the military formed a new task force to address forced child conscription, which reportedly continues (2013)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 14,747,845

females age 16-49: 14,710,871 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 10,451,515

females age 16-49: 11,181,537 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 522,478

female: 506,388 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

country comparison to the world:  17   

Transnational Issues: Burma

Disputes - international:

over half of Burma's population consists of diverse ethnic groups who have substantial numbers of kin in neighboring countries; the Naf River on the border with Bangladesh serves as a smuggling and illegal transit route; Bangladesh struggles to accommodate 29,000 Rohingya, Burmese Muslim minority from Arakan State, living as refugees in Cox's Bazar; Burmese border authorities are constructing a 200 km (124 mi) wire fence designed to deter illegal cross-border transit and tensions from the military build-up along border with Bangladesh in 2010; Bangladesh referred its maritime boundary claims with Burma and India to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea; Burmese forces attempting to dig in to the largely autonomous Shan State to rout local militias tied to the drug trade, prompts local residents to periodically flee into neighboring Yunnan Province in China; fencing along the India-Burma international border at Manipur's Moreh town is in progress to check illegal drug trafficking and movement of militants; 140,000 mostly Karen refugees fleeing civil strife, political upheaval and economic stagnation in Burma live in remote camps in Thailand near the border

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: more than 454,200 (government offensives against armed ethnic minority groups near its borders with China and Thailand) (2012)

stateless persons: 808,075 (2012); note - Burma's main group of stateless people is the Rohingya, Muslims living in northern Rakhine State; the Burmese Government does not recognize the Rohingya as a "national race" and stripped them of their citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship law, categorizing them as "non-national" or "foreign residents"; native-born but non-indigenous people, such as Indians, and children born in Thailand to Burmese parents are also stateless; the Burmese Government does not grant citizenship to children born outside of the country to Burmese parents who left the country illegally or fled persecution

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Burma is a source country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purpose of forced labor, and for women and children subjected to sex trafficking in other countries; poor economic conditions have led to increased legal and illegal migration of Burmese adults and children throughout East Asia and parts of the Middle East, where they are subject to forced labor and sex trafficking; men are forced to work in the fishing and construction industries, while women and girls are forced into prostitution or domestic servitude; some Burmese economic migrants seeking work in Thailand are subsequently subjected to forced labor or sexual exploitation; military personnel and insurgent militias unlawfully conscript child soldiers and continue to be the leading perpetrators of forced labor inside the country; Burmese children are also forced to work in tea shops, home industries, on plantations, and as beggars

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Burma does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but it is making significant efforts to do so; anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts focus on the recruitment and transport of Burmese women and girls across international boundaries for forced marriages and sex trafficking; efforts to combat trafficking within Burma remain weak; forced labor of civilians and the recruitment of child soldiers by both military and private entities remain serious problems; the government continues modest efforts to provide temporary shelter and facilitate safe passage to Burmese victims repatriated from abroad, but its overall victim protection efforts are inadequate; in 2012, the government signed a UN-backed action plan for the identification, release, and rehabilitation of children in the Burmese military; as a result, some child soldiers have been released, but the government has not taken steps to prevent recruitment (2013)

Illicit drugs:

world's third largest producer of illicit opium with an estimated production in 2009 of 250 metric tons, a decrease of 27%, and poppy cultivation in 2009 totaled 17,000 hectares, a 24% decrease from 2008; production in the United Wa State Army's areas of greatest control remains low; Shan state is the source of 94.5% of Burma's poppy cultivation; 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 (2008)