People in Myanmar face a wide range of justice problems, from land disputes to drug trafficking to violence against women. Yet in MyJustice research, debt disputes emerged as the most common dispute people spoke of, affecting large numbers of people in both Mon State and Yangon Region (Denney et al., 2016). Yet debt disputes have been largely overlooked to date. They highlight the importance and challenge of equitable access to credit in a transitioning country like Myanmar, without which there are both justice and developmental consequences. As with most justice problems, debt disputes and a lack of formal credit access affect the poor and vulnerable most acutely.
This report documents the lowest, and most used, levels of dispute resolution in communities in two parts of Myanmar – Mon State and Yangon Region. Drawing on interviews and focus group discussions with 600 people, it sets out the common disputes, crimes and injustices that people speak of experiencing, the ways people seek to resolve these issues and why, as well as an assessment of the quality of the justice they are able to achieve.