The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 39/2 of the Human Rights Council, which requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to submit to its forty-third session a report on the “root causes of the human rights violations and abuses the Rohingya Muslim minority and other minorities in Myanmar are facing”. The report identifies factors that underlie the historical and current patterns of human rights violations and abuses against ethnic and religious minorities in Myanmar, and concludes with recommendations on measures to be taken by the Government, the international community and other stakeholders to improve the situation.
In its resolution 39/2, the Human Rights Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to submit to its forty-third session a report on the “root causes of the human rights violations and abuses the Rohingya Muslim minority and other minorities in Myanmar are facing, including discrimination, racial intolerance and xenophobia and Islamophobic practices, in violations of international human rights law and contrary to international declarations, including but not limited to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, and to recommend concrete measures to be taken by the Government of Myanmar and the international community to address the current situation”.
The report was prepared based on primary and secondary information which OHCHR collected from various sources, including the United Nations, civil society organizations, representatives of ethnic and religious minority communities, diplomats, academics and other experts. Given the limited access to locations outside of Yangon, including areas predominantly populated by ethnic and religious minorities, OHCHR sought other means of verification to determine the reliability of information received, including interviews with ethnic and religious minority representatives in countries outside of Myanmar. All information was subject to rigorous verification on the grounds of relevance, veracity and accuracy. In response to the questionnaire sent by OHCHR, the Government of Myanmar provided information through a Note Verbale dated 3 February 2020, and comments on the draft report were also received through a Note Verbale dated 24 February 2020. Efforts have been made to reflect the received information where relevant.
The report should be read in conjunction with the 2016 report of the High Commissioner to the Human Rights Council on the situation human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar (A/HRC/32/18) and the 2019 report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights of Rohingya in Rakhine State (A/HRC/40/37). Considering the extensive documentation of the human rights situation in Myanmar contained in these reports, and in the reports of the successive Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Myanmar and of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (“Fact-Finding Mission”), this report seeks to avoid repeating previous findings.