March 1, 2018 – The Leitner Center delivered a submission in February to the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, a UN mechanism established to investigate the facts and circumstances of alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces in that country. In the submission, the Leitner Center urged the UN fact-finders to pay close attention to gender-based violence and discrimination in the context of Myanmar’s past and ongoing conflict situations, and to the Myanmar government’s continuing failure to address impunity for sexual violence against ethnic women and girls or adequately ensure substantive participation by ethic women in peace negotiations. The fact-finding mission is expected to report its findings to the UN Human Rights Council in March.
Nickolas Ask (J.D. ’19) and Robyn Luzon (J.D. ’19), members of the Leitner Center’s 2017-2018 Crowley Scholars team, contributed extensive research, analysis, and writing in support of the submission. Working under the supervision of Asia Law and Justice Program Director Joey Lee and Leitner Center Executive Director Elisabeth Wickeri, the students examined international law principles on women, peace, and security, including the Myanmar government’s obligations to prevent and remedy gender-based violations in the context of ethnic conflict. Their work was additionally informed by the Leitner Center’s capacity-building experience empowering ethnic gender equality activists in Myanmar to seek domestic accountability for conflict-related abuses against women and girls through international human rights channels.
Photo credit: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré