Defending Human Rights in Myanmar

Responding to the human rights crisis in Myanmar
Join our panel discussion to hear about the deteriorating human rights situation in Myanmar, and what can be done to help restore democracy.

When: Tuesday 29 November 2022 from 6:00–7:00pm AEDT
Where: Online via Zoom or in person in the Charles Perkins Auditorium, The University of Sydney, Camperdown campus (view campus maps here)

The 2021 coup staged by the military (Tatmadaw) has disrupted Myanmar’s path to democracy and development. The coup has destabilised the country, damaged its economy, and unleashed the widespread and brutal suppression of the human rights of the Myanmar people.

In this panel discussion our distinguished participants, drawn from leading organisations committed to defending human rights in Myanmar, will describe the current dimensions of this human rights crisis; explain why citizens and workers have fought so strongly for the restoration of rights and freedoms; and assess the prospects for the perpetrators of human rights abuses being held to account.

In the context of a disappointing and weak response from the international ‘community’ of states, including Australia, they will also outline what practical steps civil society organisations both within and beyond Myanmar can play to defend human rights and restore democracy.


About the speakers

Chris Sidoti is an international human rights lawyer. He is a member of the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar and was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar from 2017 to 2019. Since July 2021, he has been a Commissioner on the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. He is an adjunct professor at the Australian Catholic University.

He has been Australian Human Rights Commissioner (1995-2000) and Australian Law Reform Commissioner (1992-1995). He has also worked in non-government organisations, including as director of the International Service for Human Rights, based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr Htwe Htwe Thein is an Associate Professor in International Business at the School of Management, Curtin University, Australia. Her research is interdisciplinary and examines the role of responsible business in building sustainable businesses and communities, especially in developing countries like Myanmar. Born and brought up in Myanmar until she migrated to Australia in 1988, she is internationally known for her work on foreign investment in Myanmar and has published in leading scholarly journals. She is also well-known as a respected commentator in national and international media on current events in Myanmar and its economy since the military takeover on 1 February 2021. She has been interviewed on ABC, CNA, BBC World, CNBC, TRT World among others and her expert comments have been quoted in Le Monde, Bangkok Post, Straits Times, China Daily, Deutsche Welle, VICE Media, Agence France-Presse (AFP), etc.

Manny Maung is Myanmar Researcher at the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. Her research focuses on widespread human rights issues in Myanmar including atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, sexual violence, freedom of expression and labour rights. Since the February 1, 2021 military coup, she has focused significantly on the renewed military abuses against the population that amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.

In addition to research, Manny works closely with other non-governmental partners and civil society groups on international advocacy campaigns to create pathways for accountability for victims of human rights abuses.

Dr Tun Aung Shwe was born in Mandalay. He enjoyed the general practitioner and public health practitioner life for 16 years before he came to Australia in 2008 for further study in public health.

He works with UNSW for a program which focuses on sport for development and peace. In 2013, he was able to introduce the ideology and practice to Myanmar. When the military’s attempted coup happened in Myanmar on 1 Feb 2021, he was working with 19 Myanmar universities to promote social cohesion, resilience building and youth leadership among the university students, as well as serving as a consultant to formulate a national framework for social cohesion in Myanmar.

In July 2021, the National Unity Government of Myanmar appointed him as their representative in Australia.

You might also like...

Photograph of Myanmar bank notes

Human Rights and Business in Myanmar

When: Wednesday 30 November 2022 from 6:00–7:00pm AEDT
Where: Online via Zoom

Charles Perkins Auditorium