International community urged to prioritize human rights in Myanmar

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Displaced people in Pauktaw camp in rural Rakhine, Myanmar File Photo: OCHA/Kirsten Mildren


The international community has been urged by a UN expert to prioritize human rights in Myanmar, particularly in business and investment relations.

The South-East Asian country is undergoing a transition to democracy after decades of military rule leading to increasing engagement with the rest of the world.

Daniel Dickinson reports

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, has called for greater efforts in furthering the democratic transition and respect for human rights in Myanmar.

She warned that international actors in the "rush to forge or strengthen political or economic ties, must continue to prioritize human rights, particularly in business and investment relations."

Speaking at the end of a 12-day mission to the country Ms Lee said they should not remain silent when confronted with human rights concerns or in the worst case scenario, become "complicit in perpetuating human rights abuses."

She also pointed out the importance of strengthening state institutions so they prioritize the needs of the people of Myanmar saying that she observed "very real tension between a new civilian leadership and a bureaucracy inherited from previous military regimes."

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 59

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