UN expert urges Myanmar to act on local regulations targeting Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine StateListen /
Myanmar must respond unambiguously to the revival of a local order limiting the number of children that Rohingya Muslims can have to two, or face fines and prison sentences under section 188 of the Myanmar Penal Code.
The call comes from the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana.
He says "This local order in the Northern Rakhine State townships of Buthidaung and Maungdaw is a clear-cut human rights violation targeting a particular ethnic and religious group", adding that "The Central Government must provide an unequivocal response".
The human rights expert says "Not only is the local order a violation of Myanmar's international human rights obligations and commitments, it also goes against the recommendations of the Investigation Commission set up by the President last August. That commission urged the Government to refrain from implementing non-voluntary family planning measures that may be seen as discriminatory or that would be inconsistent with human rights standards".
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which Myanmar has ratified together with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, obliges state parties to respect and protect the right of women and men 'to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights.' Also, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has called on the Government not to restrict the number of children of Rohingya people.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.