The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission stands together with the international community in commemorating this historic occasion of the International Human Rights Day which falls on the 10th of December 2016.
The Commission considers this the appropriate moment to mention some of the Human Rights Promotion and Protection activities carried out by the Commission on this auspicious occasion of the International Human Rights Day which is deemed important for people all around the world and all Human Rights Institutions.
The Commission assumed the Chairmanship of the Southeast Asia National Human Rights Forum (SEANF) in 2016 which is on a rotational basis. The Commission successfully conducted (2) Working Group Meetings in Yangon and the 13th Annual Meeting of the Forum in Nay Pyi Taw. The Commission was able to issue a statement on the Rights of the Older Persons at this Forum. In addition to this Southeast Asia National Human Rights Forum, the Commission has successfully cooperated with the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF) and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) on human rights issues. Moreover, the Commission was able to organize, in cooperation with other human rights organizations, namely OHCHR and Lutheran World Federation (LWF), to hold a workshop on the Rights of the Minorities and also a workshop on the Universal Periodic Review Process respectively.
The Commission made recommendations to the Government to be a State Party to the International Convention on the Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). A thorough study was also made by the Commission on one of the conventions adopted by ASEAN, namely, the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children. During its tenure as the Chair of the SEANF by MNHRC, this Convention was discussed at the Annual Meeting among the member states of the Forum. The Commission also made recommendations to the Government to become a party to this Convention.
As part of its mandate, the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission has been handling complaints that were received by the Commission. A total of 495 complaints were received for the period starting from 1st of January 2016 to the present point in time and they have been reviewed in accordance with the Procedures. Field Investigation trips have also been undertaken with regard to certain complaints. During 2016, the Commission inspected the police detention centers and prisons in Hkamti and Loikaw Townships and prisons, police detention centers and places of confinement in Myitkyina Township. Prisons, police detention centers, labor camps and places of confinement in Taungyi also underwent inspections by the Commission. In Taungoo, the prison, labor camp and police detention center were also inspected. Prisons in Katha, Shwebo, Myingyan and also the Aing Kaloung agricultural labor camp in Taikyi Township were also visited as part of the inspection trips. Hmawbi township police detention center also underwent inspection. For each of these inspection visits, based on the findings, the Commission made recommendations to the authorities concerned and statements were issued. At present, the Commission is cooperating with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law to set up a Computerized Complaint Handling System.
In 2016, the Commission undertook as part of its promotional activities, grass-root level human rights educational talks and workshops for the township level government officials in 20 townships covering Yangon Region, Mandalay Region, Ayeyarwaddy Region, Nay Pyi Taw Council, Shan State, Kayah State and the Mon State. In addition, the Commission was able to hold (7) Human Rights Workshops for the police officers and Human Rights subjects were also imparted in the trainings conducted for the Military Officers at the National Defense College, Staff College and the Defense Services (Army), Combat Training Schools. On the flip side, the Commission gave lectures on Human Rights at all levels of officer trainings conducted at the Central Institute of Civil Service (Lower Myanmar) and Central Institute of Civil Service (Upper Myanmar). Arrangements have also been carried out to conduct Human Rights Workshops for prison officials in Yangon and Mandalay Regions with the cooperation of Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI), during December 2016.
The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
Progressive Voice is a participatory rights-based policy research and advocacy organization rooted in civil society, that maintains strong networks and relationships with grassroots organizations and community-based organizations throughout Myanmar. It acts as a bridge to the international community and international policymakers by amplifying voices from the ground, and advocating for a rights-based policy narrative.