Under the Paris Principles relating to National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), to take up any situation of violation of human rights is among the responsibilities conferred on national human rights institutions. Accordingly, the MNHRC Law vested the Commission with the powers to verify and conduct inquiries and to visit the scene of human rights violations in respect of complaints and allegations of human rights violations. These duties constitute the core functions of the Commission in its protection activities. While other important functions such as prison inspection visits, human rights lectures at training courses organized by the Government had to be withheld for the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions, receipt of complaints of human rights has not abated.
In March 2020, the Commission received 254 complaints and, together with 371 complaints remaining from February ,625 complaints were examined. A total of 73 cases, including a visit to a scene of human rights violations, were referred to relevant departments and organizations for verification and necessary measures, with 20 cases referred back to the complainants, with recommendation. Those complaints under trial before a court or under appeal or revision on the decision of any court and those that have been finally determined the court or that did not meet criteria for admission or that have been resolved by the Commission before, totaling 193 cases were systematically recorded.
In April, the Commission could completely examine 367 cases, out of 417 complaints, including 78 new complaints and 339 complaints left from March. As such, 106 cases were referred to relevant departments and organizations, while 19 complaints were referred back to the complainants, with recommendations. The remaining 242cases were, for reasons mentioned above, systematically put on record.
In May, the Commission examined 200 complaints which include 150 new complaints and 50 complaints left from April. Out of them, 53 cases were referred to relevant departments and organizations, while 16 complaints were referred back to the complainants, with recommendation. The remaining 131 complaints were systematically put on record.
From January to May 2020, the Commission examined a total of 1177 complaints, including 316 complaints, left from the previous Commission. A statement has already been issued by the Commission concerning the complaints received up to end of February 2020.
On examination of the complaints received over the last 5 months, it was found out that most cases were received from Yangon, Mandalay, Bago, Sagaing and Ayeyawaddy Regions. The complaints received from the remaining States and Regions are relatively small in number. No complaints have been received from Kayah State. The majority of the cases concern land issues, followed by those against law enforcement personnel.
The complaints, after examination, were referred to relevant departments and organizations for verification and necessary measures and responses to the complaints referred are to be provided by relevant departments and organizations within 30 days. However, cooperation in this regard is less than satisfactory.
The Commission wishes to state that to reduce human rights violations and to improve the human rights situation for the people, cooperation from relevant departments and organization is essential.
Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
Date: 15 July 2020