Myanmar's "critical conditions" set for UN expert's scrutiny

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Yanghee Lee, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Myanmar's human rights record is about to come under the spotlight again as a UN expert prepares to check for improvements in what she's called "critical conditions" there.

Special rapporteur Yanghee Lee's visit begins Wednesday.

It comes amid concerns from observers that the situation for internally displaced people has not improved in any way since the UN expert's visit last  July.

Ahead of her 10-day tour, Ms Lee said she wanted to review the camps in isolated locations in Rakhine State.

In 2012, violence there forced around 140,000 people to flee their homes.

According to the UN refugee agency, the majority live in government camps near the state capital, Sittwe, and in surrounding townships.

In a press release ahead of her visit the human rights expert said she plans to tour northern Shan State where fighting has got worse between government troops and non-state groups.

Ms Lee, who will report back to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, said she'll assess the situation of religious and ethnic minorities affected by the ongoing conflict.

The UN expert also said she'll pay special attention to concerns raised by proposed legislation on race and religion which she says do not meet international human rights standards.

If the bills become law in this election year, Ms Lee said they would "legitimize discrimination, in particular against religious and ethnic minorities, and against women."

Daniel Johnson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″


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