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Motion for a resolution - B9-0504/2021Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Human rights situation in Myanmar, including the situation of religious and ethnic groups

5.10.2021 - (2021/2905(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Andrea Cozzolino, Pedro Marques, Evin Incir
on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0502/2021

Procedure : 2021/2905(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Human rights situation in Myanmar, including the situation of religious and ethnic groups


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar and on the situation of the Rohingya, in particular those of 22 November 2012[1], 20 April 2012[2], 20 May 2010[3], 25 November 2010[4], 7 July 2016[5], 15 December 2016[6], 14 September 2017[7], 14 June 2018[8], 13 September 2018[9], 19 September 2019[10], and 11 February 2021[11],

- having regard to the Council conclusions of 22 February 2021 and of 10 December 2018 on Myanmar/Burma,

- having regard to the Council decision of 29 April 2021 to renew for a further twelve months existing restrictive measures against high-ranking officials from the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and other individuals directly involved in the military coup in February 2021,

- having regard to the statements of the Vice President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 19 April 2021, 30 April 2021, 12 May and 27 July 2021 on Myanmar,

-  having regard to the statement of the EEAS Spokesperson of 3 March 2021 on “Myanmar: continued human rights violations by the military”;

-  having regard to the UN General Assembly Resolution on ‘The situation in Myanamr’ of 18 June 2021[12];

- having regard to the UN Secretary General report on the ‘Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar’ of 31 August 2021[13];

-  having regard to the Written updates of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Situation of human rights in Myanmar of 16 September 2021[14];


-  having regard to the statements of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Myanmar of 23 September 2021[15];

- having regard to the International Court of Justice’s Order of 23 January 2020 on the Request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by the Republic of the Gambia in the case concerning the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar),

- having regard to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the additional protocols thereto,

- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

- having regard to the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto,

- having regard to the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,

- having regard to Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,

- having regard to the ASEAN leaders’ Five Point Consensus agreed on 24 April 2021;

- having regard to Article 34 of the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar recognizing the freedom of religion or belief, and citizens the “right to freely profess and practice religion”;

- having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas, on 1 February 2021, the military of Myanmar, known as the Tatmadaw, in a clear violation of the constitution of Myanmar, arrested President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as leading members of the government, seized power over the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government through a coup d’état, and issued a one-year state of emergency;

B.  whereas peaceful protests and demonstrations against the military coup have immediately sparked all over the country despite the violent reaction and threats by the armed forces;

C.  Whereas the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) on 16 April 2021 decided to form a National Unity Government including representatives of the National League for Democracy, ethnic minority groups, and various minor parties;

D.  whereas according to several independent sources the military junta and its forces have since February 2021 murdered more than 1.100 people, arbitrarily detained more than 8.000, and forcibly displaced more than 230.000 civilians, bringing the total number of internally displaced persons in Myanmar to well over half a million, in addition to approximately 700.000 refugees in Bangladesh;

E.  whereas also children, including toddlers, have been killed or allegedly abducted to force the parents to hand themselves over;

F.  whereas the United Nations have documented “many serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including violations of the rights to life, liberty and security of person; the prohibition against torture; fair trial guarantees; freedom of expression, and freedom of peaceful assembly” and specifically highlighted that “Several of these violations may amount to crimes against humanity committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population – or, to the extent arising in armed conflict, war crimes”;

G. whereas the military has in parallel been increasing its crackdown on the media in Myanmar, with a growing number of journalists having been arbitrarily arrested, detained, and charged in order to silence the media and eradicate freedom of expression;

H. whereas ethnic minorities practice Christianity (6.3%, particularly the Chin, Kachin and Karen people), Islam (2.1%, particularly the Rohingya, Malay, people from Yangon and other minorities), and Hinduism (0.5%, particularly by Burmese Indians);

I. whereas Myanmar’s Citizenship Law declares the Rohingya ‘non-national’ or ‘foreign residents’, depriving them of citizenship which further enhances their precious situation, whereas persecution against the Rohingya minority has not ended, despite numerous calls by the international community;

J. whereas a large part of the Rohingya minority still lives segregated, with no freedom of movement and grossly restricted access to basic services, including health care and education;

K. whereas according to the UN Secretary General “Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, in particular the women and girls, remained at significant risk of sexual violence, notably in the context of the protracted conflict between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army”;

L. whereas the same military leaders and forces who perpetrated the military coup and are now committing abuses against pro-democracy activists and members of ethnic and religious groups were also responsible for the ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya;

M. whereas the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (IIFFMM) has called for the investigation and prosecution of General Min Aung Hlaing for genocide in the north of Rakhine State, as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States;

N.  whereas the UN General Assembly has voted a ban on arms export to Myanmar, which however was not unanimously supported and it is not legally binding;

O. whereas the military is putting entire villages under siege and staging an offensive with air strikes; 

P. whereas the ASEAN leaders have adopted a Five Points consensus on the situation in  Myanmar which does not condemn the military coup and violations to the rule of law and fundamental rights; whereas the ASEAN Five Points Consensus was agreed only with the Military Junta representatives and without the involvement of the Myanmar’s National Unity Government;

Q. whereas Myanmar's currency has lost more than 60% of its value since the beginning of September 2021, driving up food and fuel prices in an economy that has tanked since a military coup took place;

R. whereas According to the UN “the military takeover has resulted in job losses and has reduced income for hundreds of thousands of workers as factories and shops closed down and several international companies withdrew from the country or stopped ordering goods and services from Myanmar”;

S. whereas the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that 6.2 million people across Myanmar are at risk of food insecurity and hunger, up from 2.8 million prior to the military coup;

T.  whereas last May, the junta-run Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) sold almost 10,300 tons of timber, with plans to auction off another 14,181 tons, from a stockpile of 200,000 tons previously confiscated by the NLD government; whereas there is a significant risk that in the gems industry some exporters might falsify certificates of origin and sell stones in Thailand, to circumvent sanctions on the junta-controlled Myanmar Gems Enterprise (MGE).

U. whereas according to the UN, the 2021 UN Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan has received only 46 percent of requested funds to date and humanitarian operations suffer of major funding shortfall;

V. whereas thousands of displaced children are growing without having access to education;

W. whereas the Myanmar’ poor healthcare system has been further weakened by the COVID19 pandemic and could not cope with a major conflict; 

X. whereas an armed resistance is now forming as a result of these violence and repressions of fundamental rights and there is an overwhelming risk of an escalating civil war;

Y. whereas according to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, “a change of course is necessary” as “there are three million people in desperate need of aid” and “the current efforts by the international community to stop the downward spiral of events in Myanmar are simply not working”;

Z. whereas the UN Secretary General has warned “the risk of a large-scale armed conflict requires a collective approach to prevent a multi-dimensional catastrophe in the heart of Southeast Asia and beyond”;


1. Reiterates its strong condemnation for the military coup of 1 February 2021 orchestrated by the Tatmadaw, under the leadership of General Min Aung Hlaing, and its call on the Tatmadaw to fully respect the outcome of the democratic elections of November 2020 and, in order not to jeopardise all the democratic progress achieved in past years, to immediately reinstate the civilian government, end the state of emergency, and allow all elected parliamentarians to assume their mandates in order to restore constitutional order and democratic norms; urges the EU and its Member States and the international community to withhold recognition of Myanmar’s military leadership, including General Min Aung Hlaing, General Soe Win, and acting President Myint Swe, and to act accordingly;

2. Is deeply concerned for the violent escalation of the crisis and for the dramatic human right violations, including the situation of religious and ethnic groups;

3. Deplores the killing of thousand civilians, including children, and strongly condemns the violence and atrocities perpetrated by the military and police forces since the military coup of 1 February 2021; calls on the Military Junta to immediately end the state of emergency and stop violence and human right violations, including assassinations, imprisonments, torture, abductions, gender based violence, crackdown on peaceful protesters, religious and ethnic groups;

4. Reiterates its call for the immediate release of President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other government officials and considers the release of all political leaders and prisoners the first essential step towards a peaceful solution of the crisis and the restoring of the legitimate authorities;

5.  Calls on the military and police forces to provide the families of all individuals detained in connection with the security force operations across Myanmar prior to and in the aftermath of 1 February 2021 with full information about their fate and whereabouts;

6. Urges the military to respect media freedom and refrain from any intimidation, attack or violence against journalists;

7.  Supports the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the National Unity Government (NUG) as the only legitimate representatives of the democratic wishes of the people of Myanmar and calls on the ASEAN and the international community to include and involve them in any dialogue and effort aimed at a peaceful solution of the crisis based on the respect of the rule of law;

8. Welcomes the recent adoption of the UN General Secretary Report on Myanmar and strongly supports Mr Antonio Guteress urgent call “to mount a unified international and regional response to help to put Myanmar back on the path to democratic reform”;

9. Calls on the EU and its members to press for a no fly zone on Myanmar and an immediate and more effective international embargo on arms, surveillance equipment and dual-use products and to take appropriate measures against EU members and associate countries not respecting it; Calls on the need for further investigations of the situation by the ICC;

10. Calls for the EU institutions and other international financial organisations to closely scrutinise the financial activities of the Tatmadaw and its members and to elaborate on what kind of appropriate measures could be taken in case the situation in Myanmar fails to improve or even deteriorates further; Calls on further sanctions to be placed on persons and companies related to the Military Junta;

11.   Stresses the need for all EU Member States to enforce sanctions imposed against the State-run Myanmar Timber Enterprise, the junta’s environment minister Khin Maung Yi, and the Forest Products Joint Venture to restrict the junta’s ability to profit from Myanmar’s natural resources. Urges the European Commission to ensure that national penalties for breaching EU sanctions are effective and considers the failure to take appropriate measures in sanction enforcement against the junta-run Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) and the junta-controlled Myanmar Gems Enterprise (MGE) to be undermining the EU’s human rights strategy and international credibility.

12. Welcomes the ASEAN decision to appoint Brunei’s Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof as special envoy on Myanmar and calls on Mr Yusof to engage with all the parties involved and notably with the National Unity Government, the representatives of the civil society and of the ethnic groups, and especially the women;

13.  Calls for the immediate end of violence towards laborers, unions and for the protection of unions’ and their members’ rights, including that to operate freely;

14.  Confirms its support to the ASEAN’s commitment “to maintain and enhance peace” and “to strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law, and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms” in the region; sees the Myanmar crisis as a crucial test case for the ASEAN’s ambitions and role as an effective and reliable regional actor;

15. Warns of the risk of an even larger humanitarian emergency as a consequence of the escalation of violence and of the country’s severe economic crisis, poverty and number of displaced people;

16. Calls on the EU, its members and the international community to urgently meet their financial obligations towards 2021 UN Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan;

17. Calls for immediate humanitarian access and assistance to vulnerable communities, including women, children and ethnical minorities, and for an empowerment of civil society organizations and ethnic community-based organizations to ensure that humanitarian aids effectively reach those in need;

18. Calls on neighbouring countries to lend support to Myanmar refugees and displaced people fleeing the military violence;

19. Reiterates its firm support to civil society and democracy advocates in Myanmar and calls for the EU and its institutions to continue efforts aimed at civil society advancement, despite current and possibly ongoing limitations imposed by the current military government;

20. Believes that a solution leading to sustainable peace should reflect the will of the people and will depend on the country’s capacity to bring together all different ethnic groups while ensuring the good degree of autonomy;

21. Calls for international humanitarian observers, including the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, and the Special Procedures of the HRC, to be granted immediate and unhampered access to the entire territory of Myanmar; welcomes the close cooperation between the EU and the UN and other international organisations on Myanmar;

22.  Emphasises the importance of the International community to engage in constructive diplomatic dialogue to rapidly stabilise the deteriorating situation and ensure the protection of human rights for the people in the country;

23. urges Myanmar to cooperate with international efforts to ensure accountability, including by finally granting the IIMM full access to the country; calls for the EU, its Member States and the international community to ensure that the IIMM has the requisite support, including financial support, to execute its mandate;

24. Calls on the VP/HR and the Member States to closely follow the situation in Myanmar, and calls on the VP/HR to report back to Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs on a regular basis in order to ensure adequate parliamentary dialogue on this important and worrying situation;

25. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the legitimate President and government of Myanmar, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of EU Member States, the governments and parliaments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Australia, Canada and the Member States of ASEAN, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Human Rights Council, the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Burmese Assembly of the Union of Myanmar), the President, the State Counsellor and the military of Myanmar.



Last updated: 5 October 2021
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