Statement by Myanmar National Human Rights Commission to mark the 70th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights which falls on 10 December 2018 Statement No ( 11 / 2018)

  1. Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, alongwith the international community celebrates the auspicious occasion of the 70thAnniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which falls on 10December 2018.
  2. This auspicious day commemoratesnot only the International Human Rights Day but also the 70thAnniversary of the proclamation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly. On such occasion it is most appropriate to present the activities of promotion and protection of human rights carried out by the Commission during 2018 to the general public.
  3. The Commission has been extensively carrying out promotion and awareness raising activities to make the public aware of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the impacts of these rights on the public in their daily lives. For broaderdissemination of UDHR it has been translated into Myanmar language and (12) other ethnic languages. Human rights talks have also been conducted at (23) townships in the States and Regions. In addition, with the purpose of disseminating human rights education not only to the urban but also to the rural public round-table talks were held at (12) villages in Ayeyarwaddy and Yangon Regions. To foster incorporation of human rights standards in carrying out their duties and functionsby district level government officials MNHRC held three types of awareness raising activities in Yangon, Taungoo, Meikhtila, PyinOoLwin, Kawthaung and Pakokudistrictswith the cooperation of CSO groups. The three types being, human rights workshops, trainings for township level child rights committee members and a one-day training course for CSOs.Likewise, lectures on human rights were given in the training courses conducted at the National Defence University, the Staff College, Military Training Centres and Police Training Centre (Mandalay).Lectures were also givenin trainings conducted at the Central Institute of Civil Service(Lower Myanmar and Upper Myanmar).
  4. The Commission handled complaints on human rights violations in accordance with procedures of the MNHRC Law. From January to November 2018 the Commission received 2818 complaints out of which action was taken on 966 cases which met the requirements of complaint mechanism. Field visits were conducted on 11 occasions. In addition, the Commission undertook inspection visits to 25 prisons, 22 labour camps, 32 police lock-ups, 32 court lock-ups, 15 hospital guard-wards and 5homes for the aged poor. The findings together with the recommendations were forwarded to the departments concerned and statements were issued for the general public. The Commission visited Buthidaung and Maungdawtownships in Northern Rakhine State to look into the human rights situations there and also visited refugee camps in Putao, Myitkyina, Moehnyin, Moegaung townships in Kachin State.Findings of the visits were reported to the President’s Office.
  5. The Commission teams led by the Commissioners monitored the by-elections insix constituencies held on 3 November 2018 and issued a statement. A detailed report of the findings together with the recommendations was forwarded to the President’s Office and the Union Election Commission.
  6. With regards to legal matters, the Commission undertook studies of the existing Laws and Bills from the human rights point of view and recommendations wereforwarded to the relevant institutions. The recommendations on the 2nd revised draft Bill of the Penal Code was submitted to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw in 2018.
  7. The Commission, in its cooperation with the regional and international human rights mechanisms, participated in the South East Asia National Human Rights Institutions Forum (SEANF), Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF) and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
  8. In order to recommendthe government departments to fulfill the obligations accepted by Myanmar during the second cycle of UPR on Myanmar, the Commission organized a workshop in cooperation with one INGO. A workshop on “Business and Human Rights” was organized in cooperation with UNDP and the outcomes together with the recommendations were submitted to the President’s Office.
  9. As Myanmar is a State Party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Commission liaised with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) to hold an awareness raising forum on the submission of Myanmar’s national report.
  10. With the purpose of enhancing the capacity of the Commission in carrying out the promotion and protection activities, the Commission in collaboration with UNDP, OHCHR and APF undertook a Capacity Assessment of the Commission.
  11. Myanmar National Human Rights Commission pledges to promote and protect the human rights of the citizens in accordance with the provisions of the Commission Law.

Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

Date: 10 December 2018