Human Rights Current Affairs - 2020

World’s Longest Internet Shutdown in Myanmar enters 2nd year

On 21st June 2019, the mobile internet services were shut down by the Myanmar Government in eight townships of the conflict-hit Rakhine State and in one township in Chin State. Between September 2019 to February 2020 the restrictions were lifted in 5 states but were again reinstated. In Maungdaw township of Rakhine State, the restrictions were lifted on 2nd May 2020. The internet services for the remaining townships will remain shut down till the 1st of August 2020, this was announced by the Ministry of Transportation and Communication of the Myanmar Government.

Background

Since January 2019, the Myanmar Government has been engaged in battle with the Arakan Army (Rakhine Armed Group). This insurgent group is fighting for the independence of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.

Rising Criticism for the Myanmar Government

As lack of information would result in an underreported shortage of essential services from food, water to medical aid, etc. At a time of a global pandemic, suspension of internet services would have also made it difficult for the people living in these townships to get proper information about the safety standard protocols related to COVID-19.

The move of the Myanmar Government has continued to draw criticism from both the domestic as well as International Human Rights Organizations. As per Myanmar’s Telecommunication law’s Article 77, the Government can suspend the service during an emergency situation. Various Human Rights Organizations now call for the amendment of the Article as it is not in line with the international standards for freedom of expression.

April 25: International Delegate’s Day

On April 25, 2020, for the first time, the United Nations marked the International Delegate’s Day. The Day is being marked to celebrate the 75th anniversary of San Francisco Conference.

San Francisco Conference

On April 25, 1945, delegates from 50 countries came together in San Francisco for the first time. The main aim of the conference was to come together to restore world peace and impose rules post world war. More than 850 delegates participated in the conference. They represented 80% of the world population.

The Charter of United Nations was framed after two months of the conference, that is, on June 25, 1945.

Significance

Delegates are the back bone of the United Nations. They bring life to the organization and hence it is important to recognize their role. The delegates to the United Nations represent their concerned countries and are appointed by the country.

Role of Delegates

The United Nations has adopted the resolution 73/286 to recognize the crucial role played by the delegates. These delegates live up to the goals of United Nations, that is, to maintain international peace, promote effective multilateralism and encourage respect for fundamental freedom and human rights. The delegates negotiate agreements with the other member countries, coordinate with their countries and follow interests of the governments they serve.