Statement by the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of International Human Rights Day which falls on 10th December 2019 Statement No (7/ 2019)

  1. Myanmar National Human Rights Commission together with the people of Myanmar and the International community is celebrating the auspicious occasion of the International Human Rights Day which falls on 10th December 2019.
  2. On this important occasion of the International Human Rights Day, the Commission deems it the most appropriate moment to review the promotion and protection activities carried out within the span of the year and further wishes to present the activities to be carried out in the future.
  3. As a measure of raising awareness and knowledge of Human Rights of the public, the Commission carried out human rights talks in the States and Regions and also in the self-administered regions. Community talks in 14 village tracts in the States and Regions were implemented to foster the understanding of the basic concepts of human rights which can in turn lead to alleviation of violation of human rights. In coordination with human rights educators, human rights awareness talks were also held in the townships in Yangon and Bago Regions. A workshop on human rights, child rights, women rights and disabled persons rights was held in Nay Pyi Taw for Government Officials with the purpose of instilling a sense of human rights in carrying out their functions. To better understand human rights by the general public, basic and advanced training courses were conducted at the Commission. In addition, human rights lectures were given at the National Defense College, Combat Training Schools in Bahtoo and Bayintnaung, Central Institute for Civil Service and the police training centers. Trainees attending the training courses at the fire services training centers and refresher courses conducted at General Administration Training Center were also given human rights lectures. The Commission has also facilitated the translation of UDHR into the ethnic languages and to date translation has been done on 21 ethnic languages. The Commission in cooperation with Pen Myanmar carried out training workshop on freedom of expression in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. Moreover, to carry out activities related to child rights, the Commission signed a letter of cooperation (LOC) with Good Neighbours International (GNI) in 2019.
  4. Regarding violation of human rights, the Commission received complaints and reviewed them in accordance with the complaint procedures. In some cases, fields visit had also been carried out. In line with the provision of the Commission law, inspection visits were made to the prisons, labor camps, police lock-ups, court lock-ups and guard wards to ascertain their compliance with human right standards. Based on the visits, recommendations were made to the department concerned to take action as required and statements were also issued for the general public. In addition, the Commission summoned complainants to the Commission for verification of facts. The findings were then forwarded to the concerned department for the further action as necessary.
  5. In compliance with the provisions of the Commission law, the Commission has been extending its recommendations and observations to the departments concerned on the laws that are in practice and on the draft laws to be in consonance with human rights point of view. In addition, the Commission submitted a separate report to the committee on the rights of disabled persons on 12-7-2019 and the report was posted on the Commission’s website for perusal of the general public.
  6. The Commission has as part of its obligations attended the meetings and seminars conducted by Southeast Asia National Human Rights Institutions Forum (SEANF), Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF) and Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) and its cooperating closely with the organizations.
  7. The Commission launched its capacity assessment with the cooperation of APF, OHCHR and UNDP. In 2019, the Commission cooperated with UN Agencies and CSOs to hold workshops in the implementation of UPR recommendations.
  8. In line with the recommendations contained in the capacity assessment report, the Commission drafted the Strategic Plan with the assistance of experts from APF. The draft proposal was then coordinated with the parliamentarians and CSOs and together with the recommendations put forward by them and it was adopted. The annual work plan for 2020 was also approved.
  9. With view to enhance the awareness of human rights and smooth functioning of its activities the Commission has opened branch offices in Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay and in 2019, a temporary branch office was also set up in Sittwe township of Rakhine State.
  10. On this auspicious occasion of International Human Rights Day, Myanmar National Human Rights Commission pledges to continue with the Human Rights Promotion and Protection activities in line with the provisions of the Commission law in order that a society that respect and promote human rights can be created.

Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

Date: 10 December 2019