38th HRC Session: Oral Statement on the Rohingya Crisis
On 4 July 2018, Human Rights Now gave an oral statement on the Rohingya Crisis at the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Rohingya have been subject to serious abuses by the Myanmar military and are currently living in overcrowded and sub-standard camps in Bangladesh. In the statement we urged Myanmar authorities to prevent future abuses against Rohingya, allow access to affected regions for humanitarian aid and international investigations, and ensure Rohingya refugees’ citizenship, security, and basic rights on their return. We also requested the Council to establish an accountability mechanism as proposed by the Special Rapporteur for Myanmar to ensure justice and rights of all victims.
The video and transcript of the statement are available below.
The full text of the statement can be downloaded here.
Thank you, Mr. President.
The brutal crackdown on Rohingya perpetrated by Myanmar’s security forces and persons acting under their direction from August 2017 has caused catastrophic suffering. Refugees interviewed by Human Rights Now reported mass killings, torture, forced starvation, systematic rape and sexual violence against women and children. Reports and existing evidence indicate that the atrocities targeting Rohingya were an orchestrated ethnic cleansing campaign implicating all levels of the Myanmar security forces.
The details of the June agreement for refugees’ repatriation should be publicly released and Rohingya communities must be consulted to avoid a recurrence of violence. Conditions in Rakhine state reportedly cannot ensure returning Rohingya’s safety and protection of their rights necessary for their return. Ending impunity by providing accountability for these crimes is thus an essential step for Rohingya to safely return.
We welcome the ICC’s prosecution request over the deportation of Rohingya. However, it is critical that the ICC address the full-scale of human rights and humanitarian violations committed against Rohingya since August 2017.
We urge Myanmar authorities to end and prevent abuses against Rohingya, allow access to affected regions for humanitarian aid and international investigation, and ensure refugees’ citizenship, security, and basic rights on their return.
We further request this Council or the General Assembly to establish an international accountability mechanism to investigate and facilitate prosecution until a robust accountability process is established through the ICC or other UN mechanism, and we request this Council to pass a strong resolution to ensure justice and accountability, including the establishment of an accountability mechanism.