Statements and reports by the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to regular sessions of the Human Rights Council
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council -- 34th Session: Oral statement by the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||13 March 2017|
|Description/subject:|| ||"Mr. President, distinguished representatives, ladies and gentlemen,
I am honoured to present today my third report to this Council in my capacity as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. I am conscious that this Government is only now nearing its first anniversary in power and that not only has it inherited formidable human rights challenges from the previous Government, it also has to meet with exceedingly high expectations from its people as well as the international community."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||UN Human Rights Council|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||08 May 2017|
|Title:|| ||UN Human Rights Council, 34th Session: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (Advance unedited version)
|Date of publication:|| ||01 March 2017|
|Description/subject:|| ||Summary: "Nearly one year since the new government assumed office, it continues to face formidable human rights challenges. In this report, the Special Rapporteur builds on previous reports to identify some of these challenges, and makes related recommendations..."
82. It has been almost one year since the new Government came to power. The Special Rapporteur has already noted in her previous report the formidable human rights challenges it faces while simultaneously having to navigate and direct a bureaucracy carried over from the previous Government as well as govern within the constraints of a Constitutional framework which gives precedence to military prominence over civilian authority. She recalls that the consolidation of democracy and the creation of a culture of respect for human rights is a complex undertaking requiring political will as well as sustained investment in not just enhancing the functioning and integrity of State institutions but also their accountability.
83. While improvements have been seen in some areas and some are making clear efforts, as the Special Rapporteur reflected after her recent visit, many ordinary Myanmar people have unfortunately begun to lose hope that the new Government will address their needs and concerns. This is undoubtedly at least partially due to the continued impunity enjoyed by the military and other security forces and their dominant position in the government. Trust that was placed in the new civilian leadership has started to wane with repeated incidents that carry the hallmarks of the previous Government. Where allegations of abuses and violations are suspected, the Government appears quick to resort to its standard position of ‘defend, deny, and dismiss.’
84. Addressing the apparent climate of impunity will be vital for the new Government moving forward. Impunity arises from a failure by States to meet related obligations including to investigate violations; take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators by ensuring that those suspected of criminal responsibility are prosecuted, tried and duly punished; provide victims with effective remedies; and take other necessary steps to prevent recurrence of violations. Pervasive impunity also
emboldens acts of retaliation and reprisals by those implicated by alleged abuses and violations.
85. Currently, existing policies, laws and avenues for redress appear to favour those in positions of power rather than to ensure that everyone is equal before law and has equal opportunity to have legitimate grievances addressed. Laws continue to be misused to stifle freedom of association and assembly, and subvert freedom of opinion and expression. Individuals who have lived on land for generations continue to face evictions without proper safeguards for projects which bring them little or no benefits. Conflict, which continues to have a devastating effect on civilians, sometimes appears to be focused around resource-rich areas or near lucrative projects.
86. The Special Rapporteur reminds the Government of the distinction between rule of law and rule by law as far too often issues of concern are explained away as having been dealt with “according to the law.” Too often also cases of abuses and serious, even grave, human rights violations, that potentially involve the State as the perpetrators, get closed with no explanation or dealt with in secrecy under the pretext of national security. Alternatively, a plethora of committees or commissions are set up to tackle the same issue with duplicative mandates, insufficient guarantees of independence and impartiality, and confusing, inconclusive and delayed outcomes. Where the State is unable to discharge its primary duty of investigating violations, taking appropriate measures against perpetrators, and providing victims with effective remedies, then it must seek assistance to do so. And when it is unwilling to do so, then the international community must step in and step up.".....The report also contains recommendatioins and as an Annex, a set of
Proposed joint SR-Government benchmarks.|
|Author/creator:|| ||Yanghee Lee|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (A/HRC/34/67)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (364K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||15 March 2017|
|Title:|| ||UN Human Rights Council, 31st Session: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee (English)
|Date of publication:|| ||18 March 2016|
|Description/subject:|| ||The Annex contains an important list of "SELECTED LEGISLATION IN NEED OF REFORM IN MYANMAR"..... Introduction:
"1. The present report, submitted pursuant to Human
Rights Council resolution 28/23,
covers human rights developments in Myanmar since the reports of the Special Rapporteur to
the Council in March 2015 (A/HRC/28/72) and to the
General Assembly in October 2015
(A/70/412). Building on these and other past reports, it identifies key priority areas for the new
Government in order to address prevailing human rig
2. Four years of wide-ranging reforms have brought
fundamental changes to Myanmar.
Thousands of political prisoners were released, num
erous laws were adopted or reformed, and
significant steps were taken towards greater media
freedom and government transparency. The
general elections on November 2015 were positively
assessed by national and international
observers (despite some irregularities and pre-election concerns) and saw the National League
for Democracy (NLD) win an absolute majority.
3. The new Government will now face formidable human rights challenges. The transition
period following the elections has been smooth and
peaceful but also one of great uncertainty.
Allegations of human rights violations continue to
be reported, including arrests and
prosecutions of civil society actors for peaceful a
nd democratic activities. At this important
juncture, the new Government should not only furthe
r the reforms initiated by outgoing
President Thein Sein but also create an environment
in which communities, civil society actors
and human rights defenders can speak out and peacef
ully protest without fear of reprisal. The
international community should remain engaged and s
upport Myanmar in furthering reforms
and in fulfilling its international human rights obligations...".....This version, the Advance Edited Version of 18 March 2016, updates the Advance Unedited Version dated 8 March 2016.|
|Author/creator:|| ||Yanghee Lee|
|Source/publisher:|| ||UN Human Rights Council (A/HRC/31/71) - Advance Edited Version|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (272K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||13 May 2016|
|Title:|| ||UN Human Rights Council, 28th Session: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (English)
|Date of publication:|| ||09 March 2015|
"Since 2011, Myanmar has undergone far-reaching changes that have affected many
aspects of life in the country. However, there continue to be signs of backtracking by the
Government and increasing concerns over discrimination and ethnic conflict. The present
report sets out the Special Rapporteur’s key areas of focus and recommendations aimed at
contributing to Myanmar’s efforts towards respecting, protecting and promoting human
rights and achieving democratization, national reconciliation and development"|
|Author/creator:|| ||Yanghee Lee|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations Human Rights Council (A/HRC/28/72) - Advanced Unedited Version|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (310K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||09 March 2015|
|Title:|| ||UN Human Rights Council, 25th Session: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (English)
|Date of publication:|| ||02 April 2014|
"This report looks at the current situation of human rights in Myanmar as well as reflects on the extent of progress made during the course of Mr. Tomás Ojea Quintana’s six years on the mandate.".....Contents:
Human rights situation...
Prisoners of conscience...
Conditions of detention and treatment of prisoners...
Freedom of opinion and expression...
Freedom of peaceful assembly and association...
Human rights concerns in the context of development...
Situation in ethnic border areas...
Situation in Rakhine State...
Democratic transition and establishing the rule of law...
Truth, justice and accountability...
|Author/creator:|| ||Tomás Ojea Quintana|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (A/HRC/25/64) -Advanced Unedited Version|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (149K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||14 March 2014|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council (19th Session) Progress report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar,
|Date of publication:|| ||07 March 2012|
"The recent wave of reforms has had a positive impact on the situation of human
rights in Myanmar. The upcoming by-elections on 1 April 2012 will be a key test of how
far the Government has progressed in its reform process. There is, however, a risk of
backtracking on the progress achieved to date. At this crucial moment in the country’s
history, remaining human rights concerns and challenges should be addressed, and justice
and accountability measures, as well as measures to ensure access to the truth, should be
|Author/creator:|| ||Tomás Ojea Quintana|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (A/HRC/19/67)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (384K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||14 March 2012|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council (16th Session): Progress report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana
|Date of publication:|| ||07 March 2011|
|Description/subject:|| ||Summary: "Myanmar undertook national elections for the first time in over two decades on 7
November 2010. One week later, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released unconditionally
upon the end of her house arrest term. The new national parliament began meeting on 31
January 2011. Amidst much uncertainty, there appears to be some cautious optimism that
positive change may be possible. Among those changes that the people of Myanmar dare to
hope for is the realization of their economic, social and cultural rights. For this reason, the
Special Rapporteur begins to address in the present report the subject of economic, social
and cultural rights, starting with the right to education."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Tomás Ojea Quintana|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Human Rights Council (A/HRC/16/59)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (133K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||13 March 2011|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council (13th Session) Progress report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana
|Date of publication:|| ||10 March 2010|
|Description/subject:|| ||SUMMARY: "The present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 10/27, covers
human rights developments in Myanmar since the Special Rapporteur’s second report to the
Human Rights Council (A/HRC/10/19) and the submission of his report to the General Assembly
(A/64/318) in October 2009.
The Special Rapporteur has travelled to Myanmar three times. He conducted his third
country visit from 15 to 19 February 2010 at the invitation of the Government, which had
postponed planned visits several times.
The present report elaborates on the issues related to the protection of human rights. The
Security Council, the Secretary-General, the Human Rights Council, Government representatives
from many nations, Nobel laureates and other respected leaders have all called for the release of
Aung San Suu Kyi and the more than 2,100 prisoners of conscience. However, the Government of
Myanmar has not yet met this important step in its preparations for transition to democracy in the
lead-up to the 2010 election. Likewise, the international community has urged the Government of
Myanmar to announce an election date and an electoral framework that adheres to international
standards for a free, fair, participatory and transparent election process. The basic rights to food,
shelter, health and education, which are not only human rights in and of themselves, but are also
essential for the exercise of other human rights, are denied to far too many of the people of
Myanmar. At the same time, conflicts along the border areas continue to abet serious human rights
abuses against civilian populations, including the ongoing recruitment of child soldiers. The
Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned about the systematic and endemic discrimination faced by
the Muslim community in Northern Rakhine State. This discrimination, which is framed as an
immigration problem, leads to basic and fundamental human rights being denied to this
population. Measures taken against this population include the restriction of movement,
limitations on permission to marry, and forced labour.
As the Special Rapporteur stated in previous reports, there is a pattern of gross and
systematic violation of human rights which has been in place for many years and still continues.
Given the extent and persistence of the problem, and the lack of accountability, there is an
indication that those human rights violations are the result of a State policy, originating from
decisions by authorities in the executive, military and judiciary at all levels. The Government of
Myanmar needs to take prompt and effective measures to investigate these facts."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Tomás Ojea Quintana|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (A/HRC/13/48)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (120K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||13 March 2010|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council - 10th Session: Report of the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||11 March 2009|
"The present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 8/14, mainly covers human rights developments in Myanmar since the Special Rapporteur's interim report submitted to the General Assembly (A/63/341).
The Special Rapporteur has travelled twice to Myanmar and has established constructive working relations with its Government. He would like to thank the Government for its hospitality and cooperation during the missions and also in discharging his mandate.
In the report, the Special Rapporteur elaborates on issues relating to the protection of human rights. In particular, he concentrates on the situation of prisoners of conscience, their right to a fair trial and due process of law and conditions of their detention; as well as freedom of expression, assembly and association in the context of the upcoming elections in 2010. He reviews internal conflicts with regard to international humanitarian law and protection of civilians and issues of discrimination and the need for humanitarian assistance.
The Special Rapporteur reiterates his recommendation of four core human rights elements: a review of national legislation in accordance with the new Constitution and international obligations; the progressive release of prisoners of conscience; training for the armed forces to ensure respect for international human rights and humanitarian law; and the establishment of an independent and impartial judiciary. Since Myanmar is party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women only, the Special Rapporteur strongly recommends that it accede to the other core international human rights instruments."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (A-HRC-10-19)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (95K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||17 March 2009|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council - 8th Session: Report of the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||03 June 2008|
"In its resolution 1992/58, the Commission on Human Rights established the mandate on
the situation of human rights in Myanmar, which was then extended by the Human Rights
Council in its decision 1/102 and resolution 5/1.
In March 2008, by its resolution 7/32, the Council extended the mandate for one year. On
26 March 2008, Tomás Ojea Quintana (Argentina) was appointed as the new Special Rapporteur,
and he officially assumed the function on 1 May 2008.
The present report is a follow-up report on the status of implementation of Council
resolutions S-5/1 and 6/33, as requested by the Council in its resolution 7/31. In the report, the
Special Rapporteur focuses on the human rights issues pertinent to the current constitutional
process in the country, the developments with regard to the crackdown on the demonstrations in
September 2007, and the human rights impact of tropical cyclone Nargis. The report builds upon
the preliminary findings and further developments included in the previous report submitted to
the Council (A/HRC/7/24). Since the present report is his first to be submitted to the Council, the
Special Rapporteur also presents an overview of his methodology and programme of work in
discharging his mandate.
The Special Rapporteur would like to pay tribute to the victims of cyclone Nargis, present
his condolences to the families at this tragic time and convey to the people of Myanmar a
message of encouragement in the recovery phase of that natural disaster."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (A/HRC/8/12)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (70K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||05 June 2008|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council - 7th Session: Report of the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||07 March 2008|
|Description/subject:|| ||The present report focuses on the main patterns of human rights violations committed in Myanmar from February 2007 to February 2008. Subsequent to Council resolution 6/33, the Special Rapporteur has submitted a follow-up mission report (A/HRC/7/24).|
|Author/creator:|| ||Sr. Paulo Sergio. Pinheiro|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (A/HRC/7/18)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (101K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||18 March 2008|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council - 6th Session: Report of the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||07 December 2007|
|Description/subject:|| ||HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS THAT REQUIRE THE COUNCIL’S ATTENTION...
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of
human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, mandated by resolution S-5/1 adopted by the Human Rights Council at its 5th Special Session*...Summary:
At its fifth Special Session de:dicated to the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the Human Rights Council, by its resolution S-5/1 of 2 October 2007, requested “the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar to assess the current human rights situation and to monitor the implementation of this resolution, including by seeking an urgent visit to Myanmar, and to report to the resumed sixth session of the Human Rights Council” and urged “the Government of Myanmar to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur”. On 19 October 2007, the Government officially extended an invitation to the Special Rapporteur and noted that he will be “accorded full cooperation”. The Special Rapporteur conducted an official mission to Myanmar from 11 to 15 November 2007. He had additional meetings with the diplomatic community, United Nations agencies and civil society organizations in Bangkok from 16 to 17 November 2007.
The present report contains findings gathered by the Special Rapporteur prior to and during his official mission, with a focus on the current human rights situation, including the human rights implications of the crackdown on demonstrations and the severe reprisals. While covering developments from August until the end of the curfew on 20 October 2007, the report focuses in particular on the tragic events that took place in Myanmar from 26 to 29 September 2007. The report finally contains a number of recommendations by the Special Rapporteur."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (A/HRC/6/14)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (137K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||13 December 2007|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council - 4th Session: Oral statement by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||22 March 2007|
|Description/subject:|| ||"...The critical human rights situation in the country calls for an increased attention by the HRC. As my six-year mandate is now ending, I believe it is of utmost importance to keep the situation of human rights in Myanmar high on your agenda.
In the past two years, the reform process proposed in the “seven-point road map for national reconciliation and democratic transition” has been strictly limited and delineated. The quality of the work of the National Convention has been adversely affected by this evolution whereas I take note of progress made towards the drafting of a new constitution.
On May 2006, the house arrest of the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD), Daw Aung Sang Suu Kyi was further prolonged by 12 months in spite of various international appeals. On February 2007, the house arrest of Tin Oo, the Vice-Chairman of the NLD was extended for one year.
As of 16 December 2006, the number of political prisoners was estimated at 1,201..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (Human Rights Council, 4th Session)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (18K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||27 March 2007|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council - 4th Session: Report by the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||12 February 2007|
|Description/subject:|| ||SUMMARY: "...During the course of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, the reform process proposed in the “seven-point road map for national reconciliation and democratic transition”, after showing some readiness to become open to various relevant actors, has been further strictly limited and delineated. As a result, the political space has been redefined in narrower terms. In addition, obstructions in the past couple of years have held back the pace and inclusiveness of the reforms that are required for democratization. The work of the National Convention has been adversely affected by this development.
Over the decades, the space for the establishment of civilian and democratic institutions has been seriously curtailed. The exercise of fundamental freedoms has been severely restricted. The house arrest of Aung Sang Suu Kyi, which was further prolonged for one year on 27 May 2006, illustrates well this state of affairs. As of 16 December 2006, the number of political prisoners was estimated to be 1,201. The Special Rapporteur has consistently indicated that national reconciliation requires meaningful and inclusive dialogue with and between political representatives. He firmly believes that the national reconciliation and the stability of Myanmar are not well served by the arrest and detention of several political leaders or by the severe and sustained restrictions on fundamental freedoms. The persecution of members of political parties in the opposition and human rights defenders shows that today, the road map for democracy faces too many obstacles to bring about a genuine transition. In the past, the Special Rapporteur has acknowledged that the road map could play a positive role in the political transition. Sadly, the positive momentum of the early years of his mandate has apparently stalled.
The capacity of law enforcement institutions and the independence and impartiality of the judiciary have been hampered by sustained impunity. This situation has contributed to reinforcing inequality and has increased the gap between the poorest and the richest.
The Special Rapporteur remains particularly concerned about impunity, which has become systematic and must be urgently addressed by the Government of Myanmar. It has become increasingly clear that impunity stems not only from a lack of institutional capacity. Impunity has allowed those who have oppressed voices that question existing policies and practices to avoid being held accountable. Several individuals and groups responsible for committing serious violations of human rights, in particular members of the military, have not been prosecuted. There is also little evidence that these serious crimes have been investigated by relevant authorities.
Grave human rights violations are committed by persons within the established structures of the State Peace and Development Council and are not only perpetrated with impunity but authorized by law. In that respect, the Special Rapporteur is also very concerned about the continued misuse of the legal system, which denies the rule of law and represents a major obstacle to securing the effective and meaningful exercise of fundamental freedoms by citizens. He considers the criminalization of the exercise of fundamental freedoms by political opponents, human rights defenders and victims of human rights abuses to be a matter of particular concern.
During the course of his mandate, the Special Rapporteur has been very concerned about the 10 years of intensified military campaigns in ethnic areas of eastern Myanmar and its impact on the humanitarian and human rights situation, especially on civilians who have been targeted during the attacks. The situation should be considered in connection with the widespread practice of land confiscation throughout the country, which is seemingly aimed at anchoring military control, especially in ethnic areas. It has led to numerous forced evictions, relocations and resettlements, forced migration and internal displacement. Given the scale of the current military campaign, the situation may lead to a humanitarian crisis if it is not addressed immediately. The Special Rapporteur therefore welcomes the recent appointment of the Resident Coordinator as Humanitarian Coordinator. He believes that the formal engagement of the humanitarian sector of the United Nations Secretariat will provide stronger, essential support in ensuring the integrity and independence of ongoing efforts.
The Special Rapporteur takes note with great satisfaction of the recent release of political prisoners, including the five “88 generation” student leaders arrested last September. He expresses the hope that other prominent political prisoners will benefit from the amnesty granted in early January 2007. He therefore welcomes the statement made by the Secretary-General on 8 January 2007 on this issue and commends the work done by the United Nations within the “good offices” mission."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Sr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations (A/HRC/4/14 -- Advanced edited version)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (87 K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||13 March 2007|
|Title:|| ||Human Rights Council -- 2nd Session: Oral statement by the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||27 September 2006|
|Description/subject:|| ||Statement for the second session of the Human Rights Council
27 September 2006...
Palais des Nations, Geneva...
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro,
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.''|
|Source/publisher:|| ||United Nations|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (86K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||27 September 2006|