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Civil Society makes a joint submission to the GANHRI-SCA ahead of the Special Review of the MNHRC in October 2023

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Civil Society makes a joint submission to the GANHRI-SCA ahead of the Special Review of the MNHRC in October 2023

The Special Review must lead to the suspension or removal of Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

(1 June 2023) The CSO Working Group on Independent National Human Rights Institution (Burma-Myanmar) (“Working Group”) and the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI) made a joint civil society submission to the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions’ Sub-Committee on Accreditation (GANHRI-SCA) ahead of its Special Review of the Myanmar military junta’s national human rights commission.

The review will be conducted during the GANHRI-SCA’s upcoming accreditation session due to take place between 23-27 October 2023.

The Working Group and ANNI have recommended the GANHRI-SCA to immediately suspend or remove the accreditation status of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) in accordance with Section 18 of the recently amended GANHRI Statute.

The submission highlights the MNHRC’s lack of independence as well as its lack of competence and acute failure in exercising its mandate to promote and protect human rights amid the military’s illegal coup attempt. The submission also highlights the military’s grave human rights violations and mass atrocities. In addition, the report outlines the MNHRC’s role in shielding the military junta from being held accountable for its crimes.

Khin Ohmar of Progressive Voice said: “GANHRI-SCA must exercise its power under Section 18 of the Statute to suspend or remove the accreditation status of MNHRC during its Special Review of the Commission in its upcoming accreditation session. The Myanmar junta must no longer be allowed to enjoy legitimacy through the MNHRC’s membership in a respected human rights network that works to promote and protect human rights.”

Thinzar Shunlei Yi from the Working Group said: “We made this submission to GANHRI-SCA ahead of its accreditation session in October with a ray of hope that GANHRI-SCA will heed our voices and our recommendations to remove junta-controlled MNHRC from the world’s leading human rights network.”

Mary Aileen D. Bacalso, Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA, the Secretariat of ANNI said: “The Special Review of the MNHRC by the GANHRI-SCA in its upcoming session is a crucial opportunity to address and acknowledge the Commission’s apathy and utter failure to perform its mandate in the face of grave human rights violations in Myanmar since the attempted military coup in 2021. Through this submission, we reiterate the calls ANNI and civil society in Myanmar have made consistently over the last two years, and remind the GANHRI-SCA to ensure accountability by taking a principled stand by suspending or revoking the MNHRC’s membership.” 

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About the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI)

The Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI) was established in December 2006. It is a network of Asian non-governmental organisations and human rights defenders working on issues related to National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs). ANNI currently has 33 member organisations from 21 countries or territories. ANNI members work on strengthening the work and functioning of Asian NHRIs to better promote and protect human rights as well as to advocate for the improved compliance of Asian NHRIs with international standards, including the Paris Principles and General Observations of the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the Global Alliance of NHRIs (GANHRI). The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) has served as the Secretariat of ANNI since its establishment in 2006.

Website: http://l.forum-asia.org/ANNI

About the CSO Working Group on Independent National Human Rights Institution (Burma/Myanmar)

The CSO Working Group on Independent National Human Rights Institution (Burma/Myanmar) advocates for the establishment of a new NHRI – tentatively named the Union Human Rights Commission – to replace the illegitimate MNHRC which has aligned itself with the illegal military junta. The Working Group was previously known as ‘CSO Working Group on MNHRC Reform;’ currently, it consists of 20 Myanmar Civil Society Organizations. From its founding in 2019 until the attempted coup in February 2021, the Working Group consistently advocated for an effective MNHRC that demonstrated a commitment to the international standards set forth in the Paris Principles.

More information at: https://www.facebook.com/WGonNHRIBurma

Twitter: @WG_MMNHRI


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