49th Session UNHRC: Intervention by Ms. Anne Heckendorff (Research Analyst EFSAS)
21-03-2022, Geneva (Virtual)
Text and video of Ms. Anne Heckendorff's intervention on Item 4: Interactive dialogue on the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Myanmar during the 49th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Video of Ms. Anne Heckendorff's Intervention on Item 4 during the 49th Session of the UNHRC
We commend that this Council has found strong words of condemnation for last year’s illegal coup in Myanmar, as well as the explicit naming of the Myanmar security forces as the perpetrators of grave human rights violations.
However, we want to point out that Resolution 46/21 falls short of acknowledging that the responsibility to protect the victims of the conflict does not stop at Myanmar’s borders. Nearly a million Rohingya refugees are currently housed in squalid camps in Cox Bazaar and on Bhasan Char Island. Thousands have attempted to escape these conditions by making the perilous journey overseas to Malaysia or Indonesia, where they are often turned away and left stranded at sea or criminally prosecuted.
Besides, thousands of ethnic Karen, Kachin, Shan and Mon people – whose suffering rarely captures the attention of the public, and whom the Resolution presently under discussion too falls short of referencing – have sought to cross Myanmar’s land borders in search for safety, with many being refused entry.
Besides such violations of the customary, and hence legally binding principle of non-refoulement, the Resolution neither finds strong words for those States which continue selling weapons to the junta, nor does it appeal to wealthier countries to support those, who for lack of resources, might find it difficult to fulfil their human rights obligations with regard to Myanmar’s displaced victims.
In order to protect the victims of one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our times, we would do good to spread the responsibility for their protection as widely as possible.