UN condemns two-child rule for Myanmar Muslim towns

A Muslim family arrive at a Buddhist temple following sectarian violence in Lashio, northern Shan State, Myanmar. -AP Photo

A Muslim family arrive at a Buddhist temple following sectarian violence in Lashio, northern Shan State, Myanmar. -AP Photo

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations on Thursday called on Myanmar authorities to end a ban on families having more than two children in two Muslim-majority townships in a troubled state.

UN deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey said that pressing the policy in Rakhine state, where there have been widespread clashes between Buddhists and Muslims, would infringe “fundamental human rights”.

Rakhine authorities say the two-child rule has been reaffirmed in two townships in the state where most people are Rohingya Muslims. The rule was first imposed by Myanmar’s military junta.

Del Buey told reporters that the United Nations was aware that Myanmar authorities planned to impose the two-child rule.

“If enacted this policy would be considered discriminatory and would infringe upon the fundamental human rights of the Muslim and the Rohingya communities in those places,” del Buey said.

“UN human rights mechanisms have previously addressed these issues and called upon the authorities to remove such policies or practices,” he added.

Myanmar’s pro-democracy champion, Aung San Suu Kyi, has also criticised the ban which has been fiercely condemned by human rights groups.

Up to 140,000 people, mainly Rohingya Muslims, were displaced in two waves of sectarian unrest between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine last year.

Myanmar views the roughly 800,000 Rohingya in the country as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants

Source: DAWN

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