Developing an Understanding of COVID-19 Pandemic Health Restrictions, Laws and Penalities in Myanmar

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Ei Phyo Aye
Ei Ei Mya San
Michael James Day


In 2021, Myanmar faced a profound social, political, and human rights crisis, resulting in armed conflict, which continues, at the time of writing. COVID-19, a global pandemic, added fuel to the fire. Arising from this, our study gives an overview of the state of justice among offenders against COVID-19 pandemic health restrictions in Myanmar. First, we use a literature review to identify relevant laws, regulations and guidelines implemented during Myanmar’s COVID-19 response. We then explore a lack explore a lack of equity in penalties and use a qualitative phenomenological method that yields insights from discussions conducted with four informants — judge, prosecutor, offender and legal researcher — that were interpreted and translated over September 2021 to March 2022. These two approaches demonstrate that the government issued overlapping legal measures regarding COVID-19. We found penalties for those who violate such laws were different, even though cases were similar. Therefore, we form recommendations that suggest the government must consider advocating better civic awareness and education, in particular by using technology more effectively with respect to sharing COVID-19 information, supporting personal citizen rights to access timely information, and embracing international human rights law.

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Phyo Aye, E. ., Ei Mya San, E., & Day, M. J. (2023). Developing an Understanding of COVID-19 Pandemic Health Restrictions, Laws and Penalities in Myanmar. Journal of Human Rights and Peace Studies, 9(1). Retrieved from
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