Myanmar: Meaningful action “urgently needed” to stop further crimes against humanity

photo: AFP

A report by the UN Human Rights Council has exposed the scale of the violence systematically used by the military junta in Myanmar since its takeover in February 2021.

Using interviews with victims, corroborated by satellite images and other data, the report records hundreds of attacks against civilians, some of which may qualify as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said: "The appalling breadth and scale of violations of international law suffered by the people of Myanmar demand a firm, unified, and resolute international response. Meaningful action . . . is urgently needed to stop yet more individuals from being stripped of their rights, their lives and their livelihoods.

"Throughout the tumult and violence of the past year, the will of the people has clearly not been broken. They remain committed to seeing a return to democracy and to institutions that reflect their will and aspirations.”

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow added: “Thank you to the UN Human Rights Council for their hard work to record the details of the horrifying attacks perpetrated by the military and their affiliates in Myanmar. It is another reminder that governments and businesses must take action now to support the forces in Myanmar fighting to restore democracy – including action to cut off the junta.

“The first thing we need to do is to block the military’s means for violence. We demand that the UN Security Council put in place an arms embargo and enforce the UN General Assembly’s resolution 75/287 with the member states.

“Next, governments must recognise the National Unity Government of Myanmar. There must be no place at the table at any global or regional institution for the illegitimate military regime.

“And something everyone can do is to give to the strike fund that is going directly to the workers, trade unionists and their families to support them as they work to defend democracy.”