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Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in the Rakhine State of Myanmar

Geneva, 6 December 2017 – On 5 December, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) dealt with the alarming situation of the Rohingya minority and other minorities in Myanmar. As an UNHRC member, Slovenia supported the special session and participated in the discussion, voicing concern over the human rights violations, and called for an end to violence and ensuring humanitarian access to the affected parts of the state.
Together with other representatives of the international community, Slovenia expressed concern about the grave violations of human rights and the humanitarian situation in Rakhine State, and called on all sides to end the violence, launch an investigation and prosecute those responsible for crimes. Slovenia welcomed the commitment of the Myanmar Government to implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, and called for their timely implementation and for cooperation with international UN human rights mechanisms. Slovenia appealed to the Myanmar authorities to enable the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar access to the country in order for it to investigate the alleged human rights violations and abuses committed by the army and the security forces in Rakhine State. Slovenia has recently responded to the humanitarian appeal of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and provided humanitarian assistance in the form of a financial contribution for the refugees in Bangladesh.


The special session of the UNHRC was convened due to the alarming situation in Rakhine State, particularly after 25 August 2017, when Rohingya insurgents attacked police stations, which led to an outburst of violence. Since then, according to UN information, grave violations of human rights have been reported, such as the deliberate shooting at civilians, laying of mines, burning of villages, forced disappearances, sexual violence, etc. Hindered humanitarian access to the affected areas remains a problem. The violence prompted a massive exodus to Bangladesh, which is now under increasing pressure due to refugees from Myanmar.


At the end of the special session, the UNHRC adopted a resolution which, among other things, calls on all the parties involved to end the violence, as well as to cease violations of human rights and of international human rights and humanitarian law. The UNHRC expresses its concern over the violence, which has forced hundreds of thousand Rohingya to flee, particularly women and children, and appeals to Myanmar to ensure the conditions for their safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return to their home areas, in accordance with international law. It also calls on the Myanmar Government to take steps towards an investigation and prosecution of those responsible for serious human rights violations of the Rohingya people and other minorities. Special attention is also devoted to sexual violence and the humanitarian situation. Slovenia supported the resolution.