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Myanmar Rights Group Pushes to Adopt UN Treaties

Originally appeared in Eleven Media Group

June 20, 2013

Myanmar’s state-run human rights commission has announced that it is pushing for the government to adopt two major United Nations treaties on civil, political and economic rights.

The proposed UN treaties are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“Our country is changing fast in all aspects. As a democratic nation, we need to follow human rights. As a result of that our commission considers that our country should sign the treaties,” said Win Mara, Chairman of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission.

The commission held a ceremony in Yangon on June 18 to distribute free copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in English and Myanmar, and discuss future plans to make the organisation independent.

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission was formed by President Thein Sein in 2011 but has not received any national budget because it was not seen to be in accordance with the 2008 Constitution. Instead, it has relied on financial aid from the President’s Office.

The commission has submitted a bill for President Thein Sein to approve it becoming an independent body, allowing it to tackle human rights issues more effectively.

“We will be able to deal with the human rights violations more effectively after the bill becomes a law,” added Win Mara.

Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, all UN Member States have ratified at least one core international human rights treaty, and 80 percent have ratified four or more. Implementation of the two treaties would be a major step for Myanmar’s democratic reform.

View the original article here.

This post is in: NHRC Monitor