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UN expert to visit Myanmar to assess rights impact of worsening security situation

GENEVA (7 July 2017) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, will undertake her sixth information-gathering visit to the country from 10 to 21 July.

Ms. Lee plans to visit Rakhine, Shan and Kayin States in addition to Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw to assess recent developments.

“I am especially concerned with the escalating security situation in many parts of the country which have grave consequences for human rights in Myanmar,” the independent expert said.  

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, and civil society representatives, as well as victims of human rights violations and members of the international community.

The Special Rapporteur will also look at human rights in the business context - including the rights of people affected by Special Economic Zones - an issue she highlighted in a recent address to the Human Rights Council

“I will also continue to pursue the development of a plan to implement joint benchmarks, which the Human Rights Council has invited me to work on with the Government, as well as a time frame against which to monitor progress,” she said.

“While it is regrettable that the Government has already refused access to several locations I had sought to visit in Shan State, citing security concerns, I look forward to the good cooperation which the Government has always extended to my mandate.

“I especially hope that the constructive and frank exchange of views which always takes place during my visits will lead to real and meaningful change for the people of Myanmar,” Ms. Lee concluded.

Following her visit, the human rights expert will present a report to the UN General Assembly in October 2017.

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

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.

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

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Yangon (during the mission): Ms. Azwa Petra (+41 79 444 3993 / +95 94 2422 2490 / apetra@ohchr.org) or U Aye Win, National Information Officer (+95 94 2106 0343 / 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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