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Land Rights in Myanmar: Past, Present, and Future Challenges and Opportunities

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 90 minutes
Recorded Date: August 26, 2019
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  • The Impact of Armed Conflict
  • The Importance of Land in Myanmar
  • The Legislative Frameworks
  • Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law
  • Land Grabbing in Myanmar
  • Regional Economic Interests and Local Impact
  • Special Economic Zones (SEZ)
  • Impact of "Development" on Communities
Runtime: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Recorded: August 26, 2019


Vulnerable communities including farmers, ethnic and religious minorities (including the Rohingya refugees and Kachin internally displaced persons) are facing land grabs, unfair compensation, and forced displacement. Faculty will go over land laws, legal framework, and legislative and administrative barriers to ownership and autonomy for citizens.

The program will also explore recent political and conflict related-developments resulting in land seizures by the military and cronies, as well as how international economic interests and special economic zones (SEZs) can weaken land rights. Lastly, the panel will address how these barriers disproportionately impact vulnerable communities, specifically women, who seek to establish their rights within a society highly entrenched with patriarchal values and hierarchies.

This program was recorded on August 26th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Yee M. Htun

Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law
Harvard Law School

Yee Htun is a Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law at the International Human Rights Clinic. Her areas of expertise include international women's rights and Myanmar. Yee works extensively on gender justice issues and has been involved with law reform and legislative efforts to advance human rights in Myanmar.

Prior to teaching at Harvard Law School, she served as the Inaugural Director of Myanmar Program for Justice Trust and was selected by women Nobel Peace Laureates from Nobel Women's Initiative to coordinate and lead the first-ever global campaign to stop rape and sexual violence in conflict.

Yee practiced immigration and criminal law in Canada. She has a Juris Doctor from Dalhousie University and an undergraduate degree in Criminology and Women's Studies from Simon Fraser University.

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Jordan Anthony Lesser

Legal Counse
New York State Assembly

Jordan A. Lesser currently works as Legal Counsel for the New York State Assembly, where he has been able to lead in environmental and energy policymaking. As a former National Park Ranger in Arizona and Louisiana, and with a background in water law and natural resources law, he has brought this expertise to the state capitol during an exciting time for development of energy and environmental policy.

He also serves as Chair of the International Law Committee for the American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law. Additionally, Jordan has lead an expedition to Namibia in September 2016 and July 2017 with an international legal team, to look at legislative reforms to address the serious concerns surrounding wildlife poaching which threatens to eradicate the Black Rhinoceros and gravely damage Africa's elephant population. Jordan was awarded the 40 Under 40 Rising Star award for NYS government/politics by City and State magazine in 2018, was an Eastern Region Fellow for the Council of State Governments in 2018 and was a New Leaders Council Fellow in 2016.

He has a Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School with an Environmental Law Certificate, and a B.A. in Medieval History from Cornell University.

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