Human Rights Rapporteur to visit Chin State for the first time
9 August 2013: The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burma, Tomás Quintana, will be making his first ever visit to Chin State next week.
Quintana’s Chin State stop is part of an 11-day itinerary including visits to Rakhine State, Kachin State, Shan State, Meikhtila in Mandalay Region, Naypyitaw and Rangoon.
The trip to Chin State shows the priority that the Special Rapporteur has given to the situation of religious and ethnic minorities. Quintana said that in addition to Rakhine State and Meikhtila, “Visiting Chin State, Kachin State and Shan State will give me an opportunity to assess the human rights situation of other religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar [Burma], and provide me with an insight into how peace negotiations are progressing.”
Specifically on the peace process, Quintana said: “He will be encouraging the inclusion of clauses on the promotion and protection of human rights in future political agreements with ethnic armed groups.”
The Chin National Front and Union-level Peace Working Committee agreement signed 9 December 2012 calls for the creation of an independent Chin Human Rights Committee, although the mandate of the body has yet to be finalized.
Quintana has highlighted the human rights impacts of growth in Burma’s industrial and extractive sectors, and political prisoners – including people arrested for involvement in land disputes and protests against large-scale development projects – as nation-wide issues which he will raise with the government.
During his visit, the Special Rapporteur is scheduled to meet with government officials, members of Parliament and the judiciary, the National Human Rights Commission, and civil society in Naypyitaw and Rangoon.
On 21 August, at the end of his mission, Mr. Quintana will present preliminary observations at a press conference at Rangoon International Airport at 18:15. His full report on the visit will be presented to the General Assembly on 24 October 2013.