Myanmar: UN Experts Request Exceptional Report on Situation of Women And Girls from Northern Rakhine State
GENEVA (28 November 2017) – A group of UN experts tasked with monitoring a global treaty on discrimination against women has requested an exceptional report from the Government of Myanmar on the situation of Rohingya women and girls from northern Rakhine State.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) made the decision at a regular meeting in Geneva last week, setting a six-month deadline for the submission of the report to the UN Secretary General. The request was sent to the Government of Myanmar on Monday, meaning the report should be submitted by 28 May 2018. It is only the fourth time an exceptional report has been requested by the Committee since holding its first session in October 1982.
The Committee, comprised of 23 independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, called on the Government to provide information on a range of issues surrounding alleged instances of violence against women and girls in northern Rakhine State in recent months.
As a party to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Myanmar is obliged to report to the Committee on its implementation of the treaty.
The Committee requested information concerning cases of sexual violence, including rape, against Rohingya women and girls by State security forces; and to provide details on the number of women and girls who have been killed or have died due to other non-natural causes during the latest outbreak of violence.
It also requested information on investigations, arrests, prosecutions, convictions and sentences or disciplinary measures imposed on perpetrators, including members of the armed forces, found guilty of such crimes.
The Committee also requested information on:
• the designation of the battalions that have undertaken the clearance operations in Northern Rakhine State since 25 August 2017 and under whose command;
• the findings of the final report of the Tatmadaw investigation team led by Lieutenant-General Aye Whin concerning the conduct of the armed forces during the security clearance operations;
• whether instructions have been or are being issued to all branches of the State security forces that torture, gender-based violence, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, expulsions and other human rights violations are prohibited and that those responsible will be prosecuted and punished;
• the gender-specific measures taken by the State party to rehabilitate and compensate Rohingya women and girls who are victims/survivors of such violence;
• the remedies available to Rohingya women and girls to claim violations of their rights;
• the number of Rohingya women and girls currently detained by State security forces;
• the number of Rohingya women and girls who have died during childbirth;
• the number of clinics providing obstetric services and the ratio of doctors and midwives to the Rohingya population; and
• the number of Rohingya families displaced by the violence, disaggregated by sex, and measures taken by the Government to ensure their voluntary and safe return, economic reintegration and compensation for loss of land or property.
CEDAW is composed of 23 independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties. Countries who have become party to the treaty (States parties) are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights of the Convention are implemented. However, pursuant to article 18, paragraph 1(b), of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Convention) and decision 21/I dated 17 November 2018 that was adopted during the sixty-eighth session, CEDAW decided to request the Government of Myanmar to submit an exceptional report, within six months, on the ongoing situation of Rohingya women and girls from Northern Rakhine State. The exceptional report, which will be due on 28 May 2018, should be submitted to the Secretary General of the United Nations as required by article 18, paragraph 1 of the Convention.