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Progress report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana

By Tomas Ojea Quintana  •  March 10, 2010

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Thirteenth session
Agenda item 4
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS THAT REQUIRE THE COUNCIL’S ATTENTION

Progress report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana

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.

Download the full report.

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This post is in: Crimes Against Humanity, Human Rights

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