Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ အမျိုးသားလူ့အခွင့်အရေး ကော်မရှင်
Commission overview
Formed 5 September 2011; 5 years ago (2011-09-05)
Preceding commission
  • Human Rights Committee
Jurisdiction Myanmar (Burma)
Headquarters No.27, Pyay Road, Hlaing Township, Yangon
Commission executives
  • Win Mra, Chairman
  • Sitt Myaing, Vice-Chairman
Website mnhrc.org.mm

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (Burmese: မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ အမျိုးသားလူ့အခွင့်အရေး ကော်မရှင်, abbreviated MNHRC) is Burma's (Myanmar) independent national human rights commission, consisting of 11 retired bureaucrats and academics.

Analysts have questioned the panel's will and ability to challenge the government,[1] but the commission has challenged the President's claims that there are no political prisoners in Burma, calling for all political prisoners' release and amnesty.[2] In February 2012, its chairman, Win Mra, ruled out the possibility of investigating human rights abuses in ethnic minority areas, calling it premature to investigate in conflict areas.[3][4]

According to NHRC's chairman Win Mra, the commission was formed under the Paris Principles, as an independent body, to investigate complaints of possible human rights violations.[5]

The former commission was formed on 5 September 2011 under Notification No. 34/2011 by President Thein Sein with 15 commissioners.[6] The commission was reformed on 24 September 2014 under Notification No. 23/2014 because of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Law with 11 commissioners. The commission's office is located in Hlaing Township, Yangon.[7] Its formation, which is not mandated by the Constitution of Burma, has been a source of controversy, especially when it requested a share of the national budget (K 547,208,000) for 2012 to 2013, as the NHRC is not a Union-level body.[8]

Its predecessor, a human rights committee under the Ministry of Home Affairs, was formed on 26 April 2000.[9]

Members[edit]

The 11-member body largely consists of civilians from academia (3 retired professors), foreign affairs (3 retired ambassadors), and civil servants.[6] While the previous iteration of the Commission had several members who are from ethnic minority groups including Shan, Kachin, Mon and Karen, its current composition has fewer ethnic minorities. Its chairman, Win Mra, is an ethnic Rakhine.[5]

  1. Win Mra (Chairman)
  2. Sit Myaing (Vice-Chairman)
  3. Zaw Win
  4. Myint Kyi
  5. Yu lwin Aung
  6. Nyunt Swe
  7. Nyan Zaw
  8. Than Nwe
  9. Khin Maung Lay
  10. Daw Mya Mya
  11. Soe Phone Myint

Controversy[edit]

In September 2016, the commission faced sustained criticism and questions regarding conduct of the commission arises when they brokered the compensation scheme to accept 5 million Kyat, approximately US$4,000, instead of pursuing legal action in the case of two girls tortured for 5 years as housemaids in Yangon.[10][11] The Ava Tailor Shop owners reportedly forced the girls, currently 16 and 17 years old, to work without day-off and tortured over the course of 5 years: breaking their fingers and arms, and slicing with knife.[12] On 22 September, MP Pyone Cho from Dawbon Township submitted an urgent proposal to take action against the Commission, and the Pyithu Hluttaw accepted to discuss further. On 6 October 2016, the President's Office issued the order statement, statement number 56/2016, allowing the following committee members to withdraw from their posts: U Zaw Win, Dr. Nyan Zaw, Dr. Than Nwe and Daw Mya Mya.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Burma sets up human rights commission". BBC. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Myanmar National Human Rights Commission sends open letter to President". New Light of Myanmar. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Roughneen, Simon (17 February 2012). "Human Rights Commission in Burma Rules Out Inquiry". World Press. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Winn, Patrick (9 March 2012). "A Human Rights Commission's shaky rise in Burma/Myanmar". Global Post. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Yadana Htun (19 September 2011). "We won’t be influenced by the govt". Myanmar Times. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Formation of Myanmar National Human Rights Commission". New Light of Myanmar. 5 November 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "BURMA: Religious elder sentenced to 20 years in jail for peaceful practice of faith". Asian Human Rights Commission. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Soe Than Lynn (26 March 2012). "Hluttaw refuses human rights body budget". Myanmar Times. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Ko Wild (28 January 2011). "Burma defends its human rights record at UN council". Mizzima. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Naing, Ye Mon and Shoon. "Police to file charges after revelations of girls’ abuse, payout spark outcry". www.mmtimes.com. Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  11. ^ "အမ်ိဳးသား လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ေကာ္မရွင္ က်႐ႈံးျခင္း". 2016-09-21. Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  12. ^ Foundation, Thomson Reuters. "ရန္ကုန္မွ အိမ္အကူ ကေလးႏွစ္ဦး လေပါင္းမ်ားစြာ ႏွိပ္စက္ခံရ | Myanmar Now". www.myanmar-now.org. Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  13. ^ "Myanmar President Office - Timeline | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Myanmar President Office. Retrieved 9 October 2016.