HRN Gives an Oral Statement at the 42nd Human Rights Council Session on the Human Rights Situation in Myanmar

On 16 September 2019, Human Rights Now gave an oral statement at the 42nd Human Rights Council session in Geneva on the dire human rights situation in Myanmar.

The text of our oral statement is written below and available in pdf format from the following link: HRC42-Myanmar-oral.pdf.

You can also watch a video of our representative giving the statement here.

Thank you, Mr President.

Human Rights Now shares the international community’s concern towards the dire human rights situation in Myanmar.

For any plan on Rohingya repatriation to make progress, the government must ensure that Rohingya’s rights are protected on their return, including by guaranteeing full citizenship rights, security, freedom of movement, and prosecutions to end the culture of impunity surrounding their treatment. Rohingya must also be a serious part of the decision-making process and not left out of important decisions about their future. Increasingly coercive pressure for Rohingya to accept the National Verification Card process, which complicates and delays Rohingya’s access to a nationality and restricts their free movement, also violates their right to a nationality and legitimizes further discrimination.

Widespread violations by Myanmar security forces against other groups, including Kachin, Arakan and other civilians, also continue and remain unaddressed, resulting in continued mass displacements and a humanitarian crisis for IDPs. Recent peace talks have been marred by the lack of participation of all ethnic groups, including the Rohingya. It is imperative that the government facilitate accountability for violations and abuses against civilians and fulfil its strategy for the sustainable closure of IDP camps, guaranteeing IDP’s security, freedom of movement, land rights, and access to livelihoods and essential services.

Freedom of expression and assembly are also major concerns as activists, journalists, and peaceful demonstrators continue to face charges, including, most recently, Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi and journalist Khun Zaw Oo. HRN urges the government of Myanmar to respect their rights and promote civic space by not subjecting legitimate statements and activities to criminal punishment.