GENEVA, 6th January, 2017 (WAM) — The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, will undertake her fifth information-gathering visit to the country from 9 to 20 January.
Ms. Lee plans to visit Kachin State (Myitkyina, Hpakant and Laiza) as well as Rakhine State (Sittwe, Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw), in addition to Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon in order to assess recent developments.
“The events of the last few months have shown that the international community must remain vigilant in monitoring the human rights situation there,” the independent expert said.
“Apart from what is happening in Rakhine, the escalation in fighting in Kachin and Shan, with its inevitable negative impact on the situation of civilians, is causing some disquiet regarding the direction that the new Government is taking in its first year of administration,” she added.
During the 12-day visit, at the invitation of the Government, the Special Rapporteur will address a broad range of human rights issues with the authorities and various stakeholders, including political and community leaders, civil society representatives, as well as victims of human rights violations and members of the international community.
In line with her mandate from the UN Human Rights Council, Ms. Lee has proposed benchmarks to the Government ahead of her visit to help monitor and assess progress in the situation of human rights in Myanmar. By the end of her visit, she hopes to arrive at mutually agreed benchmarks with the Government, which will include priority areas for technical assistance and capacity building.
“My main objective, as Special Rapporteur, has always been to work closely with the authorities and people of Myanmar, for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country,” the expert noted.
“I look forward to the good cooperation which the Government has always extended to my mandate. I especially hope for the constructive and frank exchange of views which always take place during my visits to lead to real and meaningful change for the people of Myanmar,” she said.
Following her country visit, the human rights expert will present a report* to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017.