Pyithu Hluttaw approved yesterday a proposal by MPs to take punitive action against some members of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) for their apparent failure to protect victims of human rights violations.
The resolution calling for action against the MNHRC was overwhelmingly approved, with 374 votes in favour, one against and eight abstentions.
The proposal, submitted by U Htay Win Aung, an MP for Dawbon Township, was discussed by 17 lawmakers, including a military representative, in the lower house on Monday.
The majority of the MPs who discussed the proposal were from the ruling National League for Democracy and voiced support for its call to take action against the commission. The military MP who joined the discussion, Major Aung Zin Min, also slammed the MNHRC for failing in its duty to protect the victims’ human rights.
During the debate, MPs also discussed the weakness of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission in handling the case of the two maids abused by their employer, owners of a tailoring in Kyauktada township.
“We have to discuss this issue because some members of the human rights commission handled this ruthless case in a very unjust manner and turned a blind eye to human rights,” said MP U Tin Htwe, in his discussion.
The commission’s mediation between the abusers and the victims to settle the case for five million kyats instead of bringing the case to the court tarnished the image of the country, he added.
MPs said that as the abused victims are under the age of 18, the Commission needs to protect their rights in line with the Child Rights of UN Convention and the Human Trafficking Law.
In response to the discussion by MPs, U Zaw Win, a member of the MNHRC, who addressed parliament during the discussion, said the commission was acting with sincere intentions in its handling of the case.
“Our commission has no legal rights to pass judgement or take action against human rights perpetrators, unlike human rights commissions in other countries,” said U Zaw Win.
The commission can only send suggestion and advice for handling the case to the concerned departments and organizations.
The Commission carried out measures to remedy the sufferings and losses of the victims with honest intent, he added.
“That’s why we reached out to the Yangon regional police and urged them to deal with the case accordingly. We notified the concerned department to deal with the case and then negotiated between the victims and the tailoring only with the most honest intentions,” said U Zaw Win.—GNLM