Nobel Peace Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Jody Williams – along with human rights experts Dr. Heisoo Shin (Korea) and Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand) – today released the findings and recommendations developed during the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women of Burma held this week in New York City. The quasi-legal event featured compelling testimony – the first ever – of 12 women from
“Women should no longer be invisible when crimes are committed against them with impunity,” said Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. “The history of violence and oppression of women in
A few of the women who testified are colleagues of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition, still under house arrest and a prisoner of General Than Shwe. Than Shwe is the war criminal who has reigned terror over the people of
“We live in a globalized world, which means that Burma cannot do whatever it wants to its people within its own walls,” said Shirin Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. “Globalization is effective when it helps bring an end to injustice. The international community cannot stand by and let other countries to use their sovereignty to commit atrocities against their own people.”
The purpose of the Tribunal was to spotlight the oppression of women of
The women who testified now live in
The following are the recommendations of the Tribunal:
Recommendations to the international community, particularly the United Nations:
• Urge States to take collective action to ensure the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, and 1889 guaranteeing women’s full participation in post-conflict reconstruction, and freedom from all forms of sexual violence.
• Strongly urge the UN Security Council to refer
• Call upon United Nations member States to fulfill their obligations to exercise universal jurisdiction and to prosecute through their national tribunals perpetrators of the crimes against the civilian population of
• Ask United Nations agencies with a presence in
• Call upon the United Nations Security Council to take effective measures against state authorities on the basis of the responsibility of the state to protect its people from egregious human rights violations (Responsibility to Protect Doctrine).
• Urge the United Nations system to take measures to ensure that the Burmese authorities comply with international human rights standards and international humanitarian law.
• Stop all forms of violence against women. “End the intimidation, harassment, arbitrary arrest, unlawful detention, torture, and degrading treatment against women [and all] political prisoners; [and] respect and adhere to the principles and norms of the international [criminal and] human rights standards, particularly Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women...”
• Stop attacks and persecution against ethnic nationalities and groups.
• Release immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners.
• Grant access to United Nations agencies and non-governmental humanitarian groups to ensure that women, in particular, are assisted effectively.
• Provide access to and cooperate with United Nations agencies and human rights organizations to monitor human rights within
• Ratify all human rights treaties, including ICCPR and ICESCR, and implement them effectively.
• Abide by rules of customary international law, such as the prohibitions against torture, slavery, and violence against women and children.
• Ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, reform and implement domestic legislation accordingly.
• Establish an effective process for dialogue between different stakeholders including democracy groups, ethnic minorities/nationalities, and concerned authorities with emphasis on women’s participation in the pursuit of democracy.
• Revise the constitution, particularly the amnesty provisions, and other national laws in an inclusive and participatory manner, engaging all stakeholders including women, to ensure consistency with international legal obligations and human rights standards.
• Establish effective judicial mechanisms and other processes to establish accountability and provide adequate remedies for international crimes and human rights violations to end impunity.
• Build human-centered national development plans and processes that respond to women’s human rights bearing in mind the special needs of rural women, and allocate national resources fairly and equitably for this purpose.
Recommendations to the Asia-Pacific region (including ASEAN, bilateral and other channels):
• Call upon ASEAN through its Summit of Heads of Government to impel
• Invite the ASEAN Intergovernmental Human Rights Commission to submit thematic reports covering particular issues related to
• Bearing in mind the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and various declarations on children’s rights in the region, to which
• Call upon the various partners of ASEAN and other regional bodies and states engaging with
• Prohibit trade with
• Take effective cross-border measures to prevent and punish human trafficking, in particular that of women and children, and to offer gender and child sensitive measures to protect and assist those victimized by trafficking.
• Respect the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons, protect them from violence, abuse, and exploitation, and forced repatriation, which violates the international principle of non-refoulement, and ensure the application of basic standards of international law.