STATE/INL Burma Program Public Fact Sheet

From 1962 to 2011, Burma was ruled by a military-led government that isolated the country from the rest of the world. Burma’s economy is extremely under-developed, its civilian institutions are weak, and the criminal justice system is broken. Burma’s population has suffered from decades of severe poverty, discrimination, and a lack of access to government services. The country has also been severely threatened by and vulnerable to its growing narcotics problem which has contributed to a rise in criminal activity. Recognizing the need for large-scale reform, the military began seceding power to civilian authorities in 2010 by holding the country’s first general election in 20 years. The United States government has recognized Burma’s concrete steps towards democracy and is employing an engagement strategy which supports and incentivizes further reform throughout the country. Read More