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HRC 43 Oral Statement Item 2: Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Report on Rohingya and Other Minorities in Myanmar

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43rd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2: Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Report on Rohingya and Other Minorities in Myanmar

Oral Statement Delivered by Rosanna Ocampo
On behalf of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Madam President,

FORUM-ASIA notes the High Commissioner’s report. We remain concerned at the systemic and institutionalised practices that perpetuate violations against minorities, including genocide against the Rohingya.

The 1982 Citizenship Law is one of the main tools to exclude minorities. Hierarchical categories of citizenship contravene Myanmar’s obligations to ensure equal rights. The law allows arbitrary revoking of citizenship based on vague and political grounds. The National Verification Card (NVC) scheme unduly forces Rohingya to reapply for citizenship. The four “Race and Religion” laws of 2015 institutionalise the longstanding discrimination, and ultra-nationalist biases against non-Buddhists. The laws impose further restrictions on women.

We call on Myanmar to repeal or review all discriminatory laws in line with international standards, and to guarantee full citizenship regardless of ethnicity or religion.

Racial superiority of Bamar-Buddhist majority and ultranationalist hatred against minorities, often propagated by the military and government, in school textbooks, and on social media enable discrimination and violence. We call on Myanmar to publicly condemn all acts of hate speech and incitement to violence, and hold perpetrators accountable through fair and transparent judicial proceedings.

Violations and their root causes, including impunity, will persist unless structural issues are addressed and the international community pursues criminal accountability. We call on the Security Council to refer Myanmar to the ICC. Finally, ethnic minorities need to be included in the decisions that affect them. This includes allowing all ethnic minorities, including Rohingya refugees and IDPs, to take part in this year’s elections.

Thank you.


For a PDF version of this statement, click here