Report: Tsunami Survivors Suffer Human Rights Abuses

More than a year after the Southeast Asian tsunami, some survivors are plagued by human rights violations, a report released Wednesday said.

The report by three international nonprofit groups said five countries have violated human rights standards with forced relocation, discrimination in aid distribution and other practices.

Women, ethnic minorities and the poor have borne the heaviest burden, the report said.

"Nature treated (the citizens of these countries) equally, but their governments are not treating them equally," said Ramesh Singh, chief executive of ActionAid International, a British charity.

About 215,000 people died in the Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami. Millions of others lost their homes, health care and livelihood.

The groups said they documented conditions tsunami-devastated regions of Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives.

Field research involving more than 50,000 survivors found widespread instances of poor people and minority goups victimized by land grabs to serve commercial interests, shoddy construction in government-sponsored housing, uneven distribution of aid and other violations, the report said.

ActionAid and the other two sponsors of the report, the People's Movement for Human Rights Learning and Habitat International Coalition, said the document was a call for the criticized governments and the international community to right the wrongs of the tsunami response.