Open letter: The UN Human Rights Council must take concrete steps to actualise justice and bolster support for the people of Myanmar’s will for federal democracy and human rights

In this joint letter, CIVICUS and several civil society organisations call for the adoption of a robust resolution which reflects Myanmar people’s democratic will, seeks to advance accountability, and supports effective locally-led humanitarian assistance. 

To Member and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council
Cc: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned 160 Myanmar, regional and international civil society organisations (CSOs), call for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to take concrete actions to advance accountability through all possible avenues, protect human rights of the Myanmar people, and strongly support their will for federal democracy.

We welcome the UNHRC resolution of 1 April 2022 which acknowledged the human rights situation in Myanmar as one of the Council's important agenda. We however recognise that the resolution failed to adequately reflect or address the severity of the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar. The resolution also fell short in advancing justice and ending rampant impunity enjoyed by the Myanmar military for decades. During the 52nd Regular Session of the UNHRC, we call for the adoption of a meaningful and robust resolution which reflects the Myanmar people’s desire for federal democracy, pursues all available mechanisms and avenues for justice and accountability, and bolsters effective locally-led frontline humanitarian

While monitoring and reporting mandates on Myanmar by the UNHRC remain strong and robust, there is an urgent need for the Council to strengthen its efforts for justice and accountability. The creation of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) to collect evidence of the most serious international crimes in Myanmar and prepare files for criminal prosecution — following the findings of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar — was a substantial step in the right direction. However, the IIMM is not mandated to initiate prosecution, rendering justice elusive for victims of the most serious international crimes committed in Myanmar prior to its establishment in 2018, including the
Rohingya genocide. Currently, there is no international court that has an investigation into all crimes committed in Myanmar.

Read the full letter