CAM Monthly News Update – September 2022

The Situation of IDPs in Myanmar/Burma and Refugees in Neighboring Countries

The latest UNHCR figures as of October 3, 2022 estimate that since the military coup of February 2021, 1,019,000 people have been displaced inside the country and 70,000 have fled to neighboring countries. Factoring in displacement that existed prior to the military coup, there is now a total of 1.3 million internally displaced and, as of December 31, 2021, 1,055,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Myanmar/Burma in neighboring countries.

According to UNHCR, a total of 45,800 people are currently displaced within Chin State. It is also estimated that 47,200 people from Chin State are refugees in India. Fighting between Arakan Army and the Tatmadaw in Rakhine State continues to spill over into Chin State’s Paletwa Township. The UN records indiscriminate artillery and aerial attacks as well as the use of landmines in Chin State and the rest of the Northwest.

The UN’s OCHA Myanmar Humanitarian Update states that the fighting and restrictions on telecommunications and internet service have disrupted humanitarian operations in Chin State. UN partners in Chin State also report that refugees fleeing to India are vulnerable to trafficking and sexual violence.

The government of Mizoram State, India, where most Chin refugees are staying, has issued rules that prevent refugees from purchasing property, doing business, or obtaining Indian citizenship documents by illegal means.

On September 22, the United States announced over $170 Million in humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees and IDPs, as well as host communities in Bangladesh. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the aid “will enable the provision of food, safe drinking water, health care, protection, education, shelter, and psychosocial support,” urging other donors to raise their contributions as well.

The United States also announced refugee admissions numbers for Fiscal Year 2023 on September 27, authorizing the entry of 125,000 refugees with an allotment of 15,000 from East Asia.

Displacement trends of IDPs (green) and internationally displaced (red) from Myanmar/Burma since the military coup of February 2021 as of September 12, 2022.
Source: Myanmar emergency: Displacement overview 12 September, 2022

Map indicating scale of displacement in Chin State, Myanmar after the February 1, 2021 military coup as well as protracted displacement prior to the coup.

Source: Myanmar emergency: Displacement overview 12 September, 2022

Human Rights and Religious Freedom in Myanmar/Burma

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) provides a daily report in regards to the coup. As of October 7, 2022, AAPP indicated there have been 2,338 people killed and 15,780 people arrested by the military. The military continues to hold 12,586 people of Myanmar/Burma in detention.

In a new report published September 29, Amnesty International charges that Facebook either knew or should have known that its algorithms were spreading anti-Rohingya hate speech in the months and years before the ethnic cleansing campaign of 2017. Amnesty calls on Facebook, now Meta, to pay reparations to the Rohingya community.

On September 13, Human Rights Watch reported the deaths of six detained activists who were either tortured or denied medical care. The deaths, documented by HRW, occurred between May and July, 2022. HRW called for an immediate end to abuses against opponents of the military, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and unfair trials.

The United Nations, the United States, and Other International Communities on Myanmar/Burma

UN Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned the Tatmadaw’s attack on a school in Let Yet Kone, Sagaing Region, which killed eleven children and two others. Pope Francis also spoke against the attack, calling for peace and saying “I heard the cry of grief at the death of children in a bombed school.”

The National Unity Government again called for official recognition at the 77th General Assembly this September. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun has held the country’s seat since before the coup and is loyal to the NUG, but cannot participate in full.

At the UN General Assembly, President Joe Biden made remarks recognizing the Burmese military’s crimes, saying “in 2022, fundamental freedoms are at risk in every part of our world, from the violations in Xinjiang, to the horrible abuses against pro-democracy activists and ethnic minorities by the military regime in Burma.”

The UN Human Rights Office released a report on September 16 which called on states to cut off the Tatamadaw’s access to revenue and arms, saying the junta “failed to govern in meaningful and sustainable ways, instead continuing to repress and terrorize the Myanmar people.”

The United Kingdom has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that calls for an end to arms transfers for the Burmese military junta as well as UN sanctions. The resolution also calls on the junta to release political prisoners such as Aung San Suu Kyi, implement the ASEAN five-point consensus, and transition to democratic governance.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob criticized the UN Security Council’s inaction on Myanmar, saying its veto power “makes it impossible for conflicts to be resolved.” Sabri further urged an end to the five-point consensus due to the lack of progress in its implementation.

Ahead of the upcoming Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in November, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah also called for a decision on the five-point consensus and expressed disappointment that ASEAN has not engaged the NUG and other anti-Tatmadaw  groups properly. Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing will not be allowed to attend the ASEAN meeting.

On September 7, Min Aung Hlaing met with President Vladimir Putin at an economic forum in Russia. Min Aung Hlaing heavily praised Putin, saying, “With your help, the country is developing intensively” and deeming him “a leader of the world, because you are controlling and organizing stability all over the world.”

On September 20, the Japanese government announced an end to its controversial training program for Tatmadaw officers. However, the two officers and nine cadets currently training at Japan’s National Defense Academy and Self-Defense Force facilities will continue until their programs are completed.

CAM’s Advocacy Activities

On September 27, the Chin Association of Maryland and Jubilee Campaign USA held a virtual side-event in parallel to the UN Human Rights Council’s 51st Session entitled “Christian Persecution in Myanmar’s Chin State.”

The event featured speakers from Jubilee Campaign, American Baptist Churches USA, and the Indiana Chin Baptist Church, as well as CAM youth volunteers. A recording of the event can be accessed here. Key points and recommendations can be found below.

Voice of America’s Burmese-language service covered CAM’s event and published an article that was liked by over 4,800 people on Facebook.

CAM Executive Director Zo Tum Hmung accompanied Mizoram State, India’s School Education Minister Pu Lalchhandama Ralte as part of a delegation to the State Department on September 11 to discuss the situation of Chin refugees in Mizoram. The discussion focused on education for refugee children and aid relief, with the U.S. officials pledging to cooperate with both the Indian government and Mizoram’s state government.

On September 24, Zo Tum Hmung gave a presentation on “The Persecution of Chin Christians in Burma” to the Alliance of Asian American Baptist Churches Convocation in Kansas City, Kansas.

(left to right) CAM Executive Director Zo Tum Hmung, Mizoram Education Minister Pu Lalchhandama Ralte, and Pu Lalhmachhuana, Joint Director.
Minister Pu Lalchhandama Ralte and his delegation meeting with State Department officials.
Source: Mizoram Directorate of Information and Public Relations
CAM Executive Director Zo Tum Hmung addressing the Alliance of Asian-American Baptist Churches Convocation at Kansas City, KS on September 24.
Join CAM in our Advocacy Activities!


CAM is investigating and documenting the situation of the Chin ethnic and religious minority in Myanmar/Burma and the Burmese military’s atrocities against them. Based on its latest report, CAM advocates the U.S. government to engage in the following: 

1. To provide humanitarian assistance to Chin State, Sagaing Region, and other conflict-affected areas in the form of cross-border aid via Mizoram, India and other neighboring countries.

2. To organize a Congressional fact-finding delegation to the Indo-Burma and Thai-Burma border areas to investigate and document the situation of Chin and other internally-displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.

3. To put robust pressure on the Burmese military to cease the persecution of the Chin people in Chin State and Sagaing region, in particular the burning of churches and residences and the killing of pastors.

4. To investigate and document the Burmese military’s atrocities against the Chin people, which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, as a necessary step to ensure accountability for the military, the State Administrative Council, and any affiliated entities.

CAM recommends that the following matters be addressed in the final State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPs) Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations bill and report language for Section 7043, as related to funding for Burma: 

1. Explicit commitment of new funding for FY 2023 that will number no less than the FY 2022 amount of $136,127,000 for Burma.

2. Language that specifies the pursuit of religious freedom as an intended use of funding.

3. Inclusion of Burma’s ethnic states and Magway and Sagaing Regions as areas of deep humanitarian concern with a high number of internally displaced persons and great humanitarian need.

4. Explicit support for cross-border assistance to Burma via India as well as Thailand.

5. Listing of the National Unity Consultative Council, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, and the Civil Disobedience Movement as being among the groups eligible for U.S. funding for building democracy.


Join CAM’s efforts in advocacy by writing a letter to your congressman/woman and ask them to write a letter to Secretary Blinken and USAID Administrator Samantha Power urging the following: 

1. To put pressure on the Burmese military a) to allow the UN agencies including UNHCR to go to Chin State to deliver humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced persons in Chin State, Burma, especially in Thantlang townships. We learned that UNHCR has sought a travel authorization from the military to travel to Chin State, but the military has not granted it.
b) to permit the UN agencies to establish offices in Chin State immediately, especially UNHCR in Hakha, the capital of Chin State.
c) to halt the inhuman acts and also hold accountable the military  who committed crimes.

2. To engage India to allow UNHCR in New Delhi to register over 20,000 newly arrived Chin refugees in Mizoram State, India and also to deliver aid to both the refugees and the local communities that are welcoming them.

The Burma Act of 2021

CAM continues its advocacy in support for the Burma Act of 2021 and suggested various amendments including the principal of federalism as an amendment to the bill. To learn more about CAM’s advocacy related to this bill, please click here. The Burma Act was introduced in the Senate (S.2937) and the House (H.R.5497) on October 5, 2021. The Burma Act passed the House on April 6 and is pending in the Senate.

Burma Act of 2021
(as of June 30, 2022)
The Burma Act of 2021 Sponsors Democrat
Senate (S.2937)
Pending in the Senate
Senator Ben Cardin 26 0 1 27
House (H.R.5497)
Passed the house on April 6, 2022
Rep. Gregory Meeks passed the House
18 0 84

Join CAM’s efforts in advocacy by writing a letter to your Senators asking them to sponsor the Burma Act of 2021 as amended: 

Please support the BURMA Act of 2021 by becoming a co-sponsor to the bill. This would help restore the democratically elected government of Burma. It would establish an inclusive political dialogue in Burma, which would be a step toward establishing a federal democratic union.

Please also consider CAM’s amendments to make the Burma Act of 2021 more relevant to the current situation on the ground in Burma (Suggestions from the Chin Association of Maryland, Inc.).

To learn more ways to advocate with CAM, click here.

In 2020 and 2021, CAM produced three reports: After the 2021 Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Challenges for Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees; Unsafe: Chins Seeking Refuge in Malaysia; and New Delhi, India; and Unprotected: Chin IDPs in IDPs in Chin and Rakhine States, Myanmar/Burma. CAM continues to advocate that the crimes against the Chin people in Myanmar/Burma are crimes against humanity and should be brought to the IJC and the ICC.

CAM’s newest report, Seventeen Months After the Military Coup in Myanmar/Burma: Escalating Persecution of Chin Christians in Chin State and Sagaing Region, was released June 2022 and documents the Burmese military’s atrocities against the Chin people, including the burning of churches and killing of pastors.

Join the Burma Advocacy Group (BAG) convened by the American Baptist Churches Commission on Burma Refugees by participating in their signature campaign launched on March 1, 2022. The Burma Advocacy Group (BAG) is a group of leaders from associations, churches, community groups and acting with one voice to advocate for the passage of the Burma Act of 2021. The Goal of the Campaign is to gather and submit as many signatures as possible to our U.S. Senators and Representatives to request them to pass the (revised) Burma Bill that is under consideration. The Burma Advocacy Group believes the Burma Act of 2021 is our greatest opportunity to achieve 1) an end to the human tragedy and crimes against humanity in Burma; 2) an end the brutal military dictatorship in Burma; and 3) an opportunity to achieve a federal democracy in Burma for which the people of Burma have been giving their lives.There are a few different ways you can join the signature campaign:

  1. Point your phone camera at the QR code below which will take you to the web site to sign up and submit the petition.
  2. Go to and follow the instructions to sign up and submit the petition.
  3. Facebook:  Burma Advocacy Group.  Use the QR code to sign up and submit the petition.
About CAM
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAM) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Ellicott City, Maryland with a Washington, DC office.  CAM empowers the Chin communities in Maryland to be successfully integrated into American society. CAM also advocates for durable solutions for Chin and other refugees and internally displaced persons, and religious freedom and human rights in Burma.Chins, virtually all of whom are Christians, are an ethnic nationality from Burma. They became Christians primarily due to the missionary efforts of the American Baptist Churches USA. They are a major recent U.S. refugee group that fled from Burma to neighboring countries to escape ethnic, political and religious persecution by the Burmese military since 1962. In 2001, about 1000 Chin asylees came to the U.S through Guam, resettling largely in Maryland, Indiana, Florida, and Texas. Since 2002, the U.S. has resettled many more Chin refugees coming through Malaysia and India. Chins now number 70,000 across the United States, with about 5,000 making Maryland their home.