Further to the appeal made to the member States of the Human Rights Council by the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue (hereinafter “The Geneva Centre”) on 11 and 12 October 2017 on the human rights situation of the Rohingya Muslim population, a Special Session on the situation in Myanmar will hopefully take place in December 2017 in response to the importance and urgency of the situation.

Although Myanmar’s recent political reforms and “opening to the world” have brought welcome change and transformation to the country, the Muslim population in the State of Rakhine continues to be denied access to basic human rights as the “1982 nationality code was not changed” highlights a background note prepared by the Geneva Centre on the human rights situation of the Rohingya Muslim population in Myanmar. 

The background note likewise emphasizes that promises to end the outflow of Rohingya refugees heading towards neighbouring Bangladesh have not been met, despite Myanmar’s State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi pledge to redress the situation by 5 September 2017.

It is likewise observed that Resolution 29/21 of 22 July 2015 was the only resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council dealing specifically with the gross human rights violations inflicted on the Rohingya Muslims.

Against this background, the Geneva Centre echoes the UN Secretary General’s statement on 28 September 2017 to the UN Security Council that the time had come for action. The background note appeals to the Human Rights Council to address more specifically the situation of the Rohingya Muslims in its forthcoming sessions. It likewise calls upon the government of Myanmar to permit UN’s Myanmar Fact-Finding mission to visit the Rakhine State in line with the provisions set forth in UN Human Rights Council Resolution 34/22 of 24 March 2017 and to provide unfettered access to the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar.

The background note adds that the forthcoming holding of a Special Session on the Rohingyas in Myanmar at the UN Human Rights Council is a step in the right direction to address the plight of the Rohingya population in Myanmar.

The Geneva Centre also recommended to member States of the Human Rights Council on 31 October 2017 that the title of the forthcoming Special Session be “Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar” which would correspond to the title of Resolution 29/21 adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on 22 July 2015.

Bakground note on the human rights situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar

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Year of publication: 
Wednesday, 1 November, 2017

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