Human Rights & Development: Preventing Crimes Against Humanity in Myanmar

Mar 25 2019 Posted: 10:25 GMT

Lunchtime Seminar Series

 Human Rights and Development:

Preventing Crimes Against Humanity in Myanmar

 Dr. Daniel Aguirre

Senior Lecturer, University of Roehampton London

 Wednesday 27 March, 1-2pm

Seminar Room, Irish Centre for Human Rights

The world was shocked by the crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar. The country's transition to 'open for business' had been promoted as the regional good news story. Yet human rights activists had were not surprised and had adopted a more 'gloomy' outlook: the transition was incomplete, basic human rights laws and protection mechanisms were not in place and violations continued with impunity. Legal and institutional reform were inadequate and into this regulatory gap flowed billions of dollars in investment.

 Despite the Rule of Law being put forward in the Sustainable Development Agenda, the international community insisted on legal protections for investor's interests while pursuing a policy of soft 'engagement' on human rights. The results showed that a failure to reform institutions, law and accountability mechanisms in transition results in a breakdown of the rule of law, and fosters a culture of impunity, emboldening human rights violators. This sets the stage for crimes against humanity. More must be done to prevent international crimes by ensuring that the rule of law and human rights are central to development.