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UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar to undertake official country visit

GENEVA (17 June 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, will undertake an official visit to the country from 20 June to 1st July 2016. This visit takes place at an important juncture for Myanmar with a new Government in place since April following last year’s historic elections.

“Important steps have already been taken to further democratic transition, national reconciliation, sustainable development and peace.” Ms. Lee said. “I intend to make a comprehensive and objective assessment of the human rights situation taking these elements into account.”

During the 12-day visit, at the invitation of the Government, the expert 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, she will monitor the situation of human rights and assess progress in implementation of her previous recommendations*, including for the Government’s first 100 days in office, and the year ahead. She will also take into account the Government’s own 100-day plans. Finally, she will identify benchmarks for progress and priority areas for technical assistance and capacity building.

“My main objective, as Special Rapporteur, is to continue to work closely with the Government and people of Myanmar, for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country,” she noted. “I thank the Government for the excellent cooperation with my mandate thus far and look forward to an open, constructive and frank exchange of views during my visit.” 

A press conference will be held at the end of the Special Rapporteur’s visit. Details on time and venue will be announced during the course of the visit. Access to the press conference will be strictly limited to journalists.

Following her country visit, the human rights expert will submit a report to the UN General Assembly in September 2016.

(*) Check all the reports by the Special Rapporteur:  http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?m=89

Ms. Yanghee Lee (Republic of Korea) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014 as the Special Rapporteur on situation of human rights in Myanmar. She is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. Ms. Lee is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Ms. Lee served as member and chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2003-2011). She is currently a professor at Sungkyunwan University, Seoul, and serves on the Advisory Committee of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. Ms. Lee is the founding President of International Child Rights Center. Learn more, go to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/CountriesMandates/MM/Pages/SRMyanmar.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights, country page – Myanmar: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/MMIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva: Ms. Caroline Avanzo (+41 22 928 9208 / cavanzo@ohchr.org)
In Yangon (during the mission): U Aye Win, National Information Officer (+95 94 210 60343 / wina@un.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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