The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Thailand’s Neighboring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) have been fi nancing highway construction in southeast Burma/Myanmar in Karen State, which has been the location of prolonged civil confl ict. The aim of the Project is to complete the missing link between the Asian Highway 1 (AH1) and East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC), a flagship project of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Program. The projects are intended to improve connectivity within Karen State, between Karen State and Yangon, between Myanmar and Thailand, and onwards across the South Asia and Southeast Asia regions.
NEDA funded the construction of a section of AH1 from Thin Gan Nyi Naung, close to the Thai border, to Kawkareik. The newly widened stretch of highway offi cially opened to the public in August 2015. While the road project has improved transport links between Myanmar and Thailand, this report documents how the project forcibly dispossessed villagers of their land and property without proper consultation or adequate compensation.
The aim of this report is to raise concerns about the unresolved issues of human rights violations and armed confl ict associated with highway construction in Karen State, and to ensure that ADB and its partners avoid making the same mistakes as they prepare to upgrade the next stretch of AH1.