Who is the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee?


BANGKOK (25 January 2018) - In December 2017, the Government of Myanmar informed Yanhee Lee that all access to the country has been denied and cooperation withdrawn for the duration of her mandate as the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar.

The independent expert had been due to visit Myanmar in January to assess the state of human rights countrywide, including the human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

However, despite of the lack of direct access to the country, she is obtaining first-hand accounts from victims and witnesses of human rights violations who have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh and Thailand.

The human rights expert is currently visiting Thailand from 25 to 30 January, after a seven-day mission to Bangladesh.

"I have a responsibility to speak on behalf of these victims, and I will not be deterred," she said before launching her information-gathering visits.

The Special Rapporteur's mandate requires two visits to Myanmar a year, in order to report to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly. Since taking up the mandate in June 2014, she visited six times before the Myanmar authorities refused to work with her.

As Special Rapporteur, Ms. Lee is part of the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system. She is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity.

She served as member and chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and headed the Meeting of Chairpersons of Treaty Bodies. She also served as the Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.

Ms. Lee is currently a professor at Sungkyunwan University, Seoul, and serves on the Advisory Committee of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. She is the founding President of International Child Rights Center.

The Special Rapporteur has earned a B.S. Degree from Georgetown University, M.ED. and Ph.D. from University of Missouri-Columbia. She has published numerous articles and books on human rights and childrens' rights.

ENDS

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