5 December 2017
The Human Rights Council this afternoon concluded its special session on the human rights situation of the minority Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. In a resolution, the Council condemned the alleged systematic and gross violations of human rights and abuses committed against persons belonging to the Rohingya Muslim community and other minorities in Myanmar, and requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to track progress concerning the human rights situation of Rohingya people, and to provide oral updates to the Council as well as a comprehensive written report.
In the resolution on the human rights situation of the minority Rohingya Muslim community and other minorities in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, adopted by a vote of 33 in favour, three against and nine abstentions, the Council strongly condemned the alleged systematic and gross violations of human rights and abuses committed in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine state, notably against persons belonging to the Rohingya Muslim community and other minorities, including women and children. It condemned the attacks against Myanmar police and military posts carried out on 25 August 2017 and all acts of violence against the security forces, and stressed that the challenges facing Rakhine state and other areas in Myanmar could be resolved only through peaceful means. The Council expressed grave concern at consistent allegations of widespread sexual violence, including rape and gang rape, and called for those allegations to be investigated, for those found responsible to be held to account, and for access by victims of human rights violations, including victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence, killings and other attacks, to long-term health services and psychosocial support to be ensured.
The Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to track progress concerning the human rights situation of Rohingya people, and to provide oral updates, followed by an interactive dialogue, at the thirty-eighth, forty-first and forty-fourth sessions of the Human Rights Council, with a view to reaching a comprehensive solution of the crisis within three years through the full implementation of the present resolution and Council resolution 34/22.
The Council also requested the High Commissioner to prepare a comprehensive written report on the situation, including on the level of cooperation and access given to the Fact-Finding Mission and other United Nations human rights mechanisms, the implementation of the present resolution, the findings and recommendations of the United Nations system on the situation of human rights of Rohingya people in Rakhine state and recommendations on a future course of action, to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its fortieth session, and to submit the report to the General Assembly for its consideration.
The opening meeting of the special session heard keynote statements by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Catalina Aguilar Devandas, Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of the Special Procedures, who also spoke on behalf of Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar; Marzuki Darusman, Chair of the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, in a video statement; and Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on sexual violence in conflict; as well as statements by Myanmar and Bangladesh as the concerned countries.
A summary of their statements and the debate can be found here and here.
This was the Human Rights Council’s twenty-seventh special session. Documentation relating to the special session is available on the Human Rights Council webpage.
The thirty-seventh regular session of the Human Rights Council will take place from 26 February to 23 March 2018.
For use of the information media; not an official record