UN discusses human rights situation in Myanmar
Organizations speak out at special session of Human Rights Council
Myanmar is the stage of countless violations, including crimes against humanity committed by the country’s security forces, violence against religious minorities that has already created an enormous number of refugees, mass deportations and the illegal use of landmines. On December 5, during the special session of the UN Human Rights Council, organizations drew attention to these problems and asked the United Nations to take action.
In the session, Conectas and partners endorsed the statement made by Forum-Asia on the situation in Myanmar. The organizations believe that “in the context of the recent repatriation agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Council should call for the explicit recognition of non-refoulement”. They said the Council should instruct Myanmar to institute clear and explicit safeguards to allow refugees to return voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, and also fully recognize the citizenship of the Rohingya people and grant them equal rights, without any discrimination.
The organizations also said “it is important that the Council acknowledge and express concern over the deterioration of the human rights situation in other parts of the country, including over reports of violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law in Kachin and Shan states – which in some cases have implicated the same military units as in Rakhine state”.
The special session of the UN Human Rights Council was convened upon the request of civil society. In an open letter in November, Conectas and another 40 organizations requested that the Council hold the session on Myanmar and suggested some issues to be addressed, including guaranteed access for international observers to all parts of the country and the immediate release of all people imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights.