29 March, 2021 In August 2017, a campaign of mass violence, including murder and sexual violence, was carried out by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya population. The Independent International Face Finding Mission on Myanmar found that Facebook played a role in inciting this violence. Last year, seven of the groups VAI represents petitioned the new Director of Human Rights at Facebook, Miranda Sissons, to speak to them and listen to their requests. You can see a record of the communication between the groups and Ms Sissons here.
On 16 March Ms Sissons posted an article on Opinio Juris announcing the launch of Facebook’s first corporate human rights policy. The policy contains a section on the right to a remedy- but the way this right is conceptualised too narrowly construed to meet the standard set by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), with which Facebook is claiming compliance.
Last week, VAI’s Deputy Director Clare Brown wrote a response to Ms Sissons on Opinio Juris, on behalf of the Rohingya groups. The response points out that the Rohingya groups have already asked Facebook to provide them with a remedy- something it has refused to provide. The article observes:
Ms Sissons ended her post by saying that Facebook is ‘using the UNGPs and other frameworks to send the message: rights matter.’ Facebook’s engagement with the Rohingya community so far does nothing to demonstrate this. This is an opportunity for it to prove, to the Rohingya groups and to the world, that it really means it.
Read the full post here.
For further information, please contact Clare Brown, Deputy Director (Victim Advocates International, email@example.com).