Myanmar Constitution - Chapter 8

Myanmar Constitution - Chapter 8


Chapter VIII—Citizenship, Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens


1. All persons who have either one of the following requirements are citizens of the Union of Myanmar:

(a) All persons born of parents both of whom are nationals of the Union of Myanmar.

(b) Persons who are vested with citizenship according to the existing laws on the date this Constitution comes into force.


2. Citizenship, naturalization and revocation of citizenship shall be as prescribed by the law.


3. The State shall enable any citizen to enjoy equal rights before the law and shall equally provide legal protection.


4. The State shall not discriminate against or in favour of any citizen based on race, birth, religion, official position, status, culture, sex and wealth.


5. Citizens shall enjoy equal rights in the following areas:

(a) civil service;

(b) occupation;

(c) trade;

(d) business;

(e) technical know-how and profession;

(f) exploration of arts, science and technology.


6. Women shall be entitled to the same rights and salaries as that received by men in respect of similar work.


7. Mothers, children and expectant women shall enjoy rights as prescribed by law.


8. The State shall, in appointing or assigning duties, not discriminate against or in favour of any citizen with qualifications set for posts or duties based on race, birth, religion, and sex. However, nothing in this section shall prevent appointment of men to the positions that are naturally suitable for men only.


9. Nothing shall, except in accord with existing laws, be detrimental to the lives and personal freedom of any citizen.


10. There shall be liberty in the exercise of the following rights subject to the laws enacted for State security, prevalence of law and order, community peace and tranquillity or public order and morality:

(a) The right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions;

(b) The right of the citizens to assemble peacefully without arms;

(c) The right of the citizens to form associations and unions;

(d) The right of the citizens to develop their language, literature, culture they cherish, religion they profess, and customs without prejudice to the relations between one national race and another, or among national races and to other faiths.


11. Every citizen shall have the right to settle and reside in any place within the State according to law.


12. The State shall, according to law, protect every citizen’s movable assets and immovable assets lawfully earned and acquired.


13. The State shall, by law, protect the premises and security of the home, property, correspondence and other communications of citizens subject to the provisions of this Constitution.


14. The State prohibits enslaving of man and trafficking in persons.


15. The State prohibits any form of forced labour except hard labour as a punishment for crime duly convicted and duties assigned thereupon by the State in accord with the law in the interests of the people.


16. Every citizen is equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess and practise religion subject to public order, morality or health and to the other provisions of the State Constitution.


17. The above right shall not include any economic, financial, political or other secular activities that may be associated with religious practice.


18. The freedom so guaranteed shall not prohibit the State from enacting laws for the purpose of social welfare and reform.


19. The State recognizes the special position of Buddhism as the faith professed by the great majority of the citizens of the State.


20. The State also recognizes Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Animism as the religions existing in the Union on the date on which the State Constitution comes into force.


21. The State shall render assistance and protect as it possibly can the religions it recognizes.


22. The abuse of religion for political purposes is forbidden; and any act which is intended or is likely to provoke feelings of hatred, enmity or discord between racial or religious communities or sects is contrary to the State Constitution. A law may be adopted to punish such actions.


23. Every citizen shall, in accord with the law, have the right to freely develop literature, culture, arts, customs and traditions they cherish. In the process, they shall avoid any act which is to the detriment of national solidarity. Any particular action in this respect which might adversely affect the interests of one or several other national races shall be taken only after consulting with and ascertaining the consent of those affected.


24. Every citizen, in accord with the education policy laid down by the Union, shall:

(a) have the right to education;

(b) be given basic education prescribed by the law as compulsory;

(c) have the right to innovate and express conscience for the development of science, literature and arts, and freely conduct research on culture.


25. Every citizen, in accord with the health policy laid down by the State, shall have the right to health care.


26. The State shall encourage and provide, based on qualifications, assistance for citizens outstanding in education, irrespective of race, religion, and sex.


27. Subject to this Constitution and relevant laws, every citizen shall have the right to elect and to stand for election to the Pyithu Hluttaw, the Amyotha Hluttaw, and the Region or State Hluttaw.


28. Respective electorate shall have the right to recall a Hluttaw member in accord with the law.


29. Every citizen shall have the right to freely do any business in accord with the law for the national economic growth.


30. The State shall help national businessmen have access to technologies, investments, machinery, and raw materials for national economic growth.


31. In doing business, without prejudice to the stipulations contained in this Constitution or existing laws, every citizen is guaranteed the rights of property ownership, using assets, initiation, and copyright by the Union.


32. No person shall be convicted of crime except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence. Moreover, he shall not be subject to a penalty greater than that is applicable.


33. Any person convicted or acquitted by a competent court for an offence shall not be retried unless a superior court annuls the judgment and orders to retry the case.


34. An accused person shall have the right of defence in accordance with the law.


35. No citizen shall, except matters on precautionary measures taken in accordance with law for the security of the State or prevalence of law and order or the peace and tranquillity and interests of the people or matters permitted under an existing law, be held in custody for more than 24 hours without the remand of a competent magistrate.


36. Every citizen shall have the right to apply to the Supreme Court of the Union through appropriate proceedings to enjoy the rights guaranteed under this Chapter.


37. In order to bestow the rights granted under this Chapter, the Supreme Court shall have the power to issue the following writs as appropriate.

(a) Writ of Habeas Corpus;

(b) Writ of Mandamus;

(c) Writ of Prohibition;

(d) Writ of Quo Warranto;

(e) Writ of Certiorari.

The right to issue writs by the Supreme Court of the Union shall not affect the right to issue orders which are in the nature of writs by other courts invested to them under existing laws.


38. At the time of occurrence of the following situations, the rights to enjoy rights under paragraph 36 shall not be suspended unless the public safety may so require.

(a) in time of war;

(b) in time of foreign invasion;

(c) in time of insurrection.


39. Every citizen, at home or abroad, dealing with foreign countries shall have the right to seek protection of the State.


40. Except in the following situations, the grievances of the citizens legally entitled under law shall not be refused:

(a) in time of foreign invasion;

(b) in time of insurrection;

(c) in time of emergency.


41. If some of the rights prescribed in this chapter that concern members of the defence forces or the forces charged with the maintenance of public order so as to ensure fulfilment of their duties and the maintenance of discipline are needed to be restricted or abrogated, they shall be done so only through enactment of necessary law.


42. Every citizen is under a duty to uphold:

(a) Non-disintegration of the Union;

(b) Non-disintegration of national solidarity;

(c) Perpetuation of sovereignty.


43. Every citizen is under a duty to abide by the provisions of the Constitution.


44. Every citizen is under a duty to safeguard independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity of the Union of Myanmar.


45. Every citizen is under a duty to undergo military training in accordance with the provisions of the law and to serve in the armed forces to defend the State.


46. Every citizen, charged with Union Spirit, is under a duty to enhance unity among national races and to ensure community peace and stability.


47. Every citizen is under a duty to build a modern developed nation.


48. Every citizen is under a duty to pay taxes levied under the law.


49. Every citizen is under a duty to contribute towards the following tasks being carried out by the State:

(a) preservation and safeguarding of national cultural heritage;

(b) environmental conservation;

(c) development of human resources;

(d) protection of public property.


50. In this Chapter and Chapter (I) “State Fundamental Principles”, the term “State” means a body or a person that exercises legislative and executive powers by this Constitution according as the context may require.