LOCAL STATEMENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND EUROPEAN UNION MEMBER STATE EMBASSIES ACCREDITED TO MYANMAR (12/01/2015)
The Heads of Missions of the European Union accredited to Myanmar express concern over the proposed legislation on the 'protection of race and religion', which includes four draft bills: on interfaith marriage, religious conversion, monogamy and population control.
These draft bills do not appear to be in line with the international human rights treaties to which Myanmar is a party, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The EU calls upon the Government of Myanmar and the Hluttaw to ensure that all legislation adopted be fully in line with Myanmar's own international human rights obligations. Further, these bills contain provisions which do not seem consistent with the current transition towards national reconciliation and an open democratic society.
We are also disturbed by reports of harassment of civil society groups and human rights defenders who have voiced criticism of these laws. In a parallel development, the EU expresses serious concern over excessive legal action against journalists and individuals in a number of cases unrelated to the draft bills.
The EU continues to support all efforts made by Myanmar towards strengthening the respect and promotion of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the full enjoyment of human rights for women and persons belonging to minorities, as well as freedom of religion and belief.