ARTICLE 19, Myanmar Independent Living Initiative and Myanmar Trade Union Federation welcome the opportunity to contribute to the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Myanmar. This submission focuses on Myanmar’s compliance with its international human rights obligations to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression and information.
Since Myanmar’s first review and in particular since the creation of a new government in 2012, restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and information have in some aspects lessened, particularly in major urban areas. Protests are more common yet often dealt with disproportionately and excessive use of force, the internet is open to the few that can access it, and people have increased access to more affordable telecommunications. Despite these steps, Myanmar has failed to show significant progress on the limited commitments it made to reform during its first UPR.
The issues of concern we address in this submission include:
- Failure to ratify major international human rights treaties or to invite UN special procedures;
- Failure to engage in necessary legal reforms to guarantee the right to freedom of expression
- Failure to engage in necessary legal reforms to guarantee the right to assembly
- Failure to prevent discrimination and incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence (including against women, persons with disabilities, and ethnic and religious minorities)
- Failure to protect digital rights and access to the internet
- Failure to protect the right to freedom of information