Geneva, 24 March 2021 – The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, which reiterated the urgent need to ensure that all those responsible for serious international crimes and human rights violations throughout Myanmar are held to account through credible, competent and independent national or international criminal justice mechanisms.

The resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor and assess the situation with a focus on accountability, in complementarity to the work of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar and the reports of the Special Rapporteur. It also calls on the Myanmar authorities to grant full, unrestricted and unmonitored access for the United Nations, including the Mechanism, and urges all relevant actors in Myanmar to cooperate with the Mechanism in the execution of its mandate and in the protection of victims and witnesses. 

“We continue to collect evidence and build case files of the most serious international crimes that have been committed throughout Myanmar since 2011,” said Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Mechanism. “Since the Tatmadaw’s seizure of power in February 2021, we have also been collecting evidence to analyse whether crimes against humanity have been committed following reports of arbitrary arrests, torture, enforced disappearances and the use of force, including lethal force, against those peacefully opposing the coup. We are committed to playing our role to ensure accountability for these crimes and continue to call on the Government of Myanmar to cooperate with our effort to establish the truth.”

The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar was created by the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2018 to collect evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar. The Mechanism is further mandated to build case files that could facilitate criminal proceedings in national, regional or international courts in order to hold individuals responsible for such crimes.