Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar

Introduction

  1. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar has been extended since its establishment pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1992/58. In its latest resolution 43/26, the Human Rights Council called upon the Government of Myanmar to resume its cooperation with the Special Rapporteur and to develop a work plan and time frame for the swift implementation of the proposed joint benchmarks identified by the previous mandate holder.
  2. The present report primarily covers developments in Myanmar since 10 March 2020.
  3. Upon taking up his functions on 1 May 2020, the new Special Rapporteur, Thomas H. Andrews, sent a letter to the Government of Myanmar requesting engagement at the highest levels of government. The Special Rapporteur proposed, in the light of travel restrictions imposed owing to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), that he meet with government leaders by teleconference. He engaged in a series of telephone discussions with the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, who provided information and perspective on the Government’s views on human rights issues. The Special Rapporteur is grateful for the Permanent Representative’s assistance.
  4. The mandate holder held teleconferences with representatives of United Nations agencies, concerned Member States, multilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private companies, as well as individual human rights defenders. The Special Rapporteur is grateful for the invaluable support that he has received from these stakeholders.
  5. Given the time limits and the restrictions of a global pandemic, the present report reflects a first step in the Special Rapporteur’s process of engagement and reporting. He looks forward to providing additional information and recommendations.
  6. The present report is issued on the eve of national elections in Myanmar. The Special Rapporteur urges the Government to create the conditions necessary for genuinely inclusive, free, competitive, transparent and fair elections in compliance with international standards.

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