HRC 43 – Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner on Her Report on the Situation of Human Rights of Rohingya Muslim Minority and Other Minorities in Myanmar – EU Intervention

Madam President,

The European Union remains deeply concerned by the situation of human rights in Myanmar, and calls upon the Government of Myanmar to ensure the protection of the human rights of all persons and to take all measures to ensure victim-centered accountability, including efforts to ensure truth, justice, reparations and non-recurrence and to end impunity. The EU has consistently called for accountability for those responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar and will continue our work to take concrete actions towards this end.

The High Commissioner’s report presents an important assessment of the root causes of the human rights violations and abuses that the Rohingya minority and other minorities are facing. Systematic discrimination and exclusion of Rohingya and other minorities in combination with democratic deficits created an environment conducive to human rights violations and abuses. The report outlines the urgency of taking into account the contemporary drivers of discrimination, such as the limitations on civic space and the wide dissemination of negative stereotypes and prejudices against minorities, including through social media.

The EU commends the Government of Myanmar for contributing to the report and urges the Government to cease ongoing human rights violations and expedite reforms to achieve sustainable peace. This can only succeed by ensuring full protection and inclusion of all persons in Myanmar through equitable representation of persons belonging to minorities and participation of civil society, including women’s groups.

The Government of Myanmar must halt criminalization of civil society actors for their exercise of freedom of expression and review laws that constrain civil society organizations, independent media and human rights defenders. It is key to ensure the independence of the judiciary, reform the security sector to enhance civilian control and strengthen independent monitoring, including by undertaking the necessary reforms of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission in full conformity with the Paris Principles reflecting Myanmar’s ethnic, religious, regional and gender diversity.

As the High Commissioner’s report highlights, Myanmar does indeed stand at a critical point in its democratic transition, which will depend on the ability to address the past by ensuring  full accountability for all alleged human rights violations, end impunity, cease all human rights violations, and shape a future shared by all persons in Myanmar.

Madame High Commissioner, in light of the upcoming election how can the international community and the Human Rights Council contribute to an inclusive democratic development in Myanmar that prevents further violations or abuses against the Rohingya and other minorities?

Thank you for your attention.

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