28 September 2018 - Geneva

Save the Children statement on the establishment by the Human Rights Council of a new independent mechanism to address crimes and violations committed in Myanmar

Save the Children welcomes the establishment today by the Human Rights Council of an “independent Mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of themost serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011 and to prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings, in accordance with international law standards, in national,regional or international courts or tribunals that have or may in the future have jurisdiction over these crimes, in accordance with international law”.

The Human Rights Council adopted a historical resolution today in Geneva creating a mechanism equivalent to the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) for Syria to gather evidence with the intention to support future prosecution of those responsible.

“Today’s decision by the Human Rights Council is a historical step forward in achieving justice for those who suffered at the hands of the Myanmar military and other groups,” Save the Children’s Country Director in Myanmar, Michael McGrath said.

“A large body of evidence has been collected and this mechanism will finally be able to bring together and preserve evidence to support prosecution, which is vital to ensuringaccountability. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were forced to flee their homes amid some of the most brutal violence imaginable, while many others could not escape and continue to be restricted of their basic rights in Myanmar.

“This resolution ensures the momentum towards justice continues, and reinforces the findings of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission released on September 18.”

Now that it has been established, the independent mechanism should be quickly assured the necessary staff and resources to carry out its mandate.

Mr. McGrath called for special consideration to be given to children during investigations.

“Thousands of children in Myanmar have been subjected to and witnessed some of the most serious human rights violations, including killing, maiming and sexual violence, crimes which will require specific expertise on violations against children to investigate. These children will need specialized care and must be adequately supported as child victims and witnesses if they give evidence in any future proceedings.”

The Human Rights Council resolution reiterated the harrowing impact of violence against children as outlined in the Fact Finding Mission, making 48 recommendations, including calling on the Government of Myanmar to take all necessary measures to ensure accountability and to end impunity for all violations of human rights.