Brussels, 08/07/2015

Statement by the Spokesperson on the legislative passage of the "Buddhist Women's Special Marriage Bill" in Myanmar

The Myanmar Parliament has passed the Buddhist Women's Special Marriage Bill, the second of four in a package of laws referred to as the "race and religion protection bills".
The bill discriminates against women by placing restrictions on Buddhist women's right to marry outside their religion. It discriminates against religious minorities and also non-Buddhist men.
As such it appears not to respect international human rights standards and to run counter to Myanmar's own human rights treaty obligations.
This and the other three bills in question could further infringe on the rights of marginalised members of ethno-religious minorities and undermine the transition towards national reconciliation and an open democratic society.
The EU continues to support Myanmar as the country strives to strengthen universal human rights, in particular as regards the full enjoyment of human rights for women and persons belonging to minorities, as well as freedom of religion and belief.