The League joined with 183 other organizations working against gender inequality and gender-based violence in a letter to the UN Security Council. We asked the UN to hold Myanmar’s military and security forces accountable by adopting a Resolution referring the situation to the International Criminal Court, dispatching peacekeeping forces to said country, and imposing economic sanctions and a global embargo.
Hold Myanmar Military Accountable for Violence Against Women
Dear President and Members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council,
Marking the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, we, Women’s Peace Network, and the undersigned organizations working for women’s rights and against genderbased violence, call upon the UN Security Council to hold the Myanmar military accountable for grievously violating the human rights of women. Since the military’s illegitimate seizure of power on February 1, the people of Myanmar have led nationwide mass movements to demand for the November 2020 election results to be respected, the 2008 Constitution to be abolished, a federal democratic union to be built with full equality and self-determination, and those arbitrarily detained and arrested to be released. Despite engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience, thousands of civilians, including women, have been brutally assailed by the regime’s tactics of violent assault, arbitrary detention, and extrajudicial killing. Given this military’s record of using sexual violence as a weapon of war, we fear that the country’s progress in enhancing the status of women is at risk now more than ever. We, members of the global women’s rights movement, now urgently join forces to amplify the people’s calls: the Myanmar military and security forces must be held to account for their brutality, and all impunity fueling their historical violation of women’s rights and international laws and norms must end.
Across Myanmar, the military continue to act in violation of the UN Charter and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. In over a month, the Myanmar military and security forces have indiscriminately fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters -- killing at least 20 women. Deploying armored vehicles along the country’s streets, male security forces have targeted women with batons and slingshots all while strategically wielding water cannons, tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets against other peaceful protesters. Throughout states and regions, the regime’s arbitrary detention and arrests of civilians have continued to rise as allegations of sexual assault and abuse across prisons have spread rampantly. If the Security Council and the international community do not take concrete action, we are concerned that the Myanmar military and security forces will continue to commit mass atrocities and act in contravention of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the member states for enforcing targeted measures against the Myanmar military and security forces. The Security Council’s intervention is crucial for ensuring that these measures have their intended effect of putting an end to the military’s arbitrary violence against its own people. Over the past several decades, the military junta has tortured and killed the country’s ethnic minorities to consolidate its power nationwide, and perpetrated sexual and gender-based violence against women as a tactic of repression. As reported by the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar in 2019, countless Rohingya women were subjected to rape, mass gang rape, sexually humiliating acts, sexual slavery, and sexual mutilations during the military’s “clearance operations” -- amounting to crimes against humanity and genocide -- across 2012, 2016, and 2017. Yet to be held accountable for these atrocities, the military has interpreted the international community’s lack of a unified and comprehensive response as a license to intensify their abusive practices against the country’s most vulnerable. We are now asking you to take all necessary measures against the Myanmar military, in order to break the cycles of violence and abuse that have gone on for too long.
We, the undersigned organizations, urge the UN Security Council to hold the Myanmar military and security forces accountable by adopting a resolution to
1. Refer the situation of Myanmar to the International Criminal Court in order hold the Myanmar military and security forces to account, under international law, for committing crimes, including rape and sexual violence.
2. Dispatch a monitoring and mediation body to Myanmar in response to the Myanmar military and security forces’ increasing use of violence against peaceful protesters, including women.
3. Impose targeted economic sanctions and financial penalties and restrictions on the junta leadership and businesses that are owned and controlled by the Myanmar military.
4. Impose a comprehensive and global arms embargo on Myanmar.
We thank you for your leadership and attention to this matter.
For Full List of Signatories See Attached Letter