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Burma: Human Rights

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government has taken to strengthen mechanisms for the reporting of human rights violations in Burma. (243093)

We remain deeply concerned at the human rights situation in Burma. We use every appropriate opportunity to highlight the ongoing abuses in the UN's human rights bodies. The UK helped to secure a further resolution of the 3rd Committee of the UN General Assembly on 21 November 2008. The resolution called on the regime to comply with its international human rights obligations, and set out a range of specific concerns. It echoed a Human Rights Council resolution, passed on 18 June, with strong UK support. These resolutions underpin the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Thomas Ojea Quintana, whose mission is the primary reporting mechanism on the situation in Burma. Mr. Quintana visited Burma from 3-7 August and produced a substantive report. We hope he will be able to return to Burma soon to continue his work, and urge the Burmese authorities to give him their full co-operation.

Our embassy in Rangoon continues to monitor the human rights situation, and our ambassador raises our concerns in meetings and correspondence with Burmese Ministers and officials. He last met Burmese Ministers at the beginning of December.