Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (Burmese: မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ အမျိုးသားလူ့အခွင့်အရေး ကော်မရှင်, abbreviated MNHRC) is the independent national human rights commission of Myanmar, consisting of 11 retired bureaucrats and academics.
|မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ အမျိုးသားလူ့အခွင့်အရေး ကော်မရှင်|
|Formed||5 September 2011|
|Headquarters||No.27, Pyay Road, Hlaing Township, Yangon|
Analysts have questioned the panel's will and ability to challenge the government, but the commission has challenged the President's claims that there are no political prisoners in Myanmar, calling for all political prisoners' release and amnesty. In February 2012, its chairman, Win Mra, ruled out the possibility of investigating human rights abuses in ethnic minority areas, calling it premature to investigate in conflict areas.
The former commission was formed on 5 September 2011 under Notification No. 34/2011 by President Thein Sein with 15 commissioners. The commission was reformed on 24 September 2014 under Notification No. 23/2014 because of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Law with 11 commissioners. The commission's office is located in Hlaing Township, Yangon. Its formation, which is not mandated by the constitution, has been a source of controversy, especially when it requested a share of the national budget (K 547,208,000) for 2012 to 2013, as the NHRC is not a Union-level body.
Its predecessor, a human rights committee under the Ministry of Home Affairs, was formed on 26 April 2000.
The 7-member body largely consists of civilians from academia (2 retired professors), foreign affairs (3 retired ambassadors), and civil servants. While the previous iteration of the Commission had several members who are from ethnic minority groups including Rakhine and Karen, its current composition has fewer ethnic minorities. Its chairman, Win Mra, is an ethnic Rakhine. commissioner, Soe Phone Myint, is an ethnic Kayin.
- Win Mra (Chairman)
- Sit Myaing (Vice-Chairman)
- Myint Kyi
- Yu Lwin Aung
- Nyunt Swe
- Khin Maung Lay
- Soe Phone Myint
- Sein Than
- Nyunt Tin
- Tin May Htun
In September 2016, the commission faced sustained criticism and questions regarding conduct of the commission arises when they brokered the compensation scheme to accept 5 million Kyat, approximately US$4,000, instead of pursuing legal action in the case of two girls tortured for 5 years as housemaids in Yangon. The Ava Tailor Shop owners reportedly forced the girls, currently 16 and 17 years old, to work without day-off and tortured over the course of 5 years: breaking their fingers and arms, and slicing with knife. On 22 September, MP Pyone Cho from Dawbon Township submitted an urgent proposal to take action against the Commission, and the Pyithu Hluttaw accepted to discuss further. On 6 October 2016, the President's Office issued the order statement, statement number 56/2016, allowing the following committee members to withdraw from their posts: U Zaw Win, Dr. Nyan Zaw, Dr. Than Nwe and Daw Mya Mya.
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- Soe Than Lynn (26 March 2012). "Hluttaw refuses human rights body budget". Myanmar Times. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
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- Naing, Ye Mon and Shoon. "Police to file charges after revelations of girls' abuse, payout spark outcry". www.mmtimes.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- "အမ်ိဳးသား လူ႔အခြင့္အေရး ေကာ္မရွင္ က်႐ႈံးျခင္း". 21 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Foundation, Thomson Reuters. "ရန္ကုန္မွ အိမ္အကူ ကေလးႏွစ္ဦး လေပါင္းမ်ားစြာ ႏွိပ္စက္ခံရ | Myanmar Now". www.myanmar-now.org. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
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