In March 2017, the UN Human Rights Council established the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged human rights violations by military and security forces, and abuses, in Myanmar. The FFM’s mandate ended in September 2019.
The FFM was mandated to establish the facts and circumstances regarding any human rights violations and abuses amounting to possible international crimes in Myanmar since 2011. The FFM used the “reasonable grounds to conclude” standard of proof used in human rights documentation methodology. The Mechanism, on the other hand, is focused on collecting evidence to build criminal files against individuals. The standard of proof in criminal cases is higher, requiring proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” or proof to the “intimate conviction” of the factfinder. The FFM has now completed its mandate, while the Mechanism became operational in August 2019.
It is important to note that the Mechanism and the FFM are separate entities with different leadership and purposes. In building case files, the Mechanism will make use of information it has received from the FFM, in addition to collecting evidence from other sources and conducting its own analysis.