MYPOL continues to work with its partners during COVID-19 to assist the Myanmar Police Force in becoming a modern police service centred on international best practices and respect for human rights. But not all of MYPOL’s work is strictly with the police. MYPOL also works with the Myanmar Parliament (known as the ‘Hluttaw’) to help reshape how laws keep police accountable to the public and to increase the parliament’s oversight functions.
In the past, MYPOL has conducted workshops with the Hluttaw to showcase security sector governance in other countries and how such laws might be adapted for Myanmar. Now, during the COVID crisis, Members of Parliaments requested that MYPOL gather information about how other countries have facing the challenges of the pandemic and how the Myanmar Parliament might use these lessons for their own response.
In June, MYPOL hosted two virtual workshops with MPs on how to address COVID concerns and challenges. The first workshop focused on Parliamentary oversight of the government and security institutions’ response to COVID-19, including the parliamentary activity possible under existing laws. Issues raised during this workshop were carried over to the next workshop, three weeks later. There, MYPOL and MPs had an in-depth discussion on how the Hluttaw can respond to the pandemic regarding various topics, such as economic recovery, elections, gender-based violence, human rights, education, and public health.
MYPOL’s Key Expert for Parliament, along with the project’s National Technical Advisor and other international experts, helped guide the discussion and provide insights into how the Hluttaw could address the needs of the Myanmar people.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, MYPOL will continue working with its partners to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic.