Caritas Internationalis urges humanitarian access and respect of human rights in Myanmar

Caritas Internationalis expresses alarm over the impact of the escalating violence in Myanmar on the already fragile humanitarian situation and asks to secure safe humanitarian access to deliver life-saving assistance.

In a statement addressed on February 12 to the UN’s Human Rights Council, the 162-member confederation echoed the voice of its local humanitarian partners and of the local Catholic Church and expressed “grave concern about the ability of aid organisations to reach people in need.” Read the statement here.

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Caritas has worked in Myanmar for more than 30 years – helping communities in emergencies and providing support in areas such as education, HIV-AIDS, peacebuilding and human mobility – and expresses serious concern over restricted access to vulnerable communities since a political crisis erupted in the country on 1st February, an even more critical and dangerous situation in times of COVID-19.

Therefore, the confederation called on the Human Rights Council and the international community to “closely monitor the human rights and humanitarian situation in Myanmar though appropriate UN human rights mechanisms.” Caritas Internationalis particularly welcomes the resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council that requests relevant UN Human Rights mechanisms and experts to monitor the situation in the country and take additional steps to address the current crisis.

Addressing the UN’s Human Rights Council, Caritas also urges all parties to secure unhindered and safe humanitarian access to deliver life-saving assistance and resume the response to the pandemic, and to refrain from using violence and to restore the rule of law and principles of democracy.

Photo by Caritas

“The only way out of this crisis in Myanmar is through dialogue and by respecting human rights and human dignity,” says Aloysius John, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis.

“Caritas calls on the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar and to support efforts of peaceful resolution in the country, which promotes reconciliation and harmony, to echo Pope Francis’ recent call.”

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