In March 2017, the UN Human Rights Council established the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) to establish the facts and circumstances regarding alleged human rights violations and abuses by military and security forces in Myanmar, particularly in Rakhine State. The President of the Council appointed Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia) as chair, and Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka) and Christopher Sidoti (Australia) as members. The members were supported by a secretariat with staff from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The FFM published its first report in August 2018 and its second report in September 2019. It also published thematic reports on “Sexual and gender-based violence in Myanmar and gendered aspects of its ethnic conflicts” in August 2019 and on “Economic interests of the Myanmar Military“ in September 2019.
The FFM’s mandate ended in September 2019. With the consent of witnesses and other providers of information, the FFM transferred almost all the material it gathered to the Mechanism, which became operational in August 2019.
It is important to note that the Mechanism and the FFM are separate entities with different mandates, purposes and personnel. In building case files, the Mechanism uses the information it has received from the FFM, in addition to collecting evidence from other sources and conducting its own analysis.