Public outreach

Side event at the 42nd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (Legal Action Worldwide)

The Mechanism strives to ensure that its mandate, strategies and outputs are coherently explained and communicated to various stakeholders, in particular witness and victim groups. This is aimed at fostering understanding and realistic expectations regarding the Mechanism, and in turn, contributing to the effective implementation of the Mechanism’s mandate. From the outset, the Mechanism has sought to have open and ongoing communication channels with relevant stakeholders in order to receive information that may help the Mechanism in preparing case files and to receive feedback on its work.

One of the Mechanism’s earliest decisions upon becoming operational in August 2019 was to develop a communications and public outreach strategy. The Mechanism met with a number of representatives of civil society organisations in Geneva and during its first official mission to Bangladesh. These meetings provided a rich insight into the need for a strong communications effort to ensure that the Mechanism’s unique role and mandate are well understood in key constituencies in Myanmar and elsewhere. In addition, the Mechanism conducted a targeted survey of civil society actors from Myanmar during the first quarter of 2020. The dual purpose was to gather an indicative picture of how the Mechanism is understood amongst civil society as well as the broader public in Myanmar and its diaspora communities, and to provide an opportunity for respondents to raise questions and share feedback to inform the development of the Mechanism’s protocols and strategies related to external outreach and engagement.

Based on these initial efforts, the Mechanism has begun to implement a comprehensive plan for engagement with various stakeholders, including through a dedicated engagement forum for civil society, as well as the launch of this multi-lingual website, the use of social media platform, and the publication of a regular bulletin and other information tools and products which serve to disseminate relevant information about the Mechanism.