Myanmar/Bangladesh: Rights, dignity, and future of genocide survivors at stake

Asia Human Rights
September 19, 2019
Reproduced with Permission
Asian Human Rights Commission

A Joint Oral Statement to the 42nd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) and Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada (LWRC)

Mr. President,

The Asian Legal Resource Centre and Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada thank the Special Rapporteur for her oral update. The Council is well aware of the grave human rights violations in Myanmar perpetrated by the Tatmadaw and other state- and non-state actors. Reports of the Special Rapporteur and the two other international mandates reiterate the international crimes against Rohingya, and violence against ethnic minorities in Shan, Kachin, and Karen states. Without effective international accountability, impunity continues. We join the calls to Contracting Parties to the Genocide Convention to refer Myanmar to the International Court of Justice to seek accountability and reparations.

Bangladesh has received applause for hosting around a million refugees who have fled their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine State. We are alarmed by Bangladesh's plan to forcibly relocate 100,000 refugees, currently in makeshift camps in Cox's Bazar, to a remote, flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh's foreign minister has reportedly threatened to "expel the UN agencies" that do not agree with its relocation plan. These threats come amid government-sponsored media hate campaigns against Rohingya refugees and internet blackouts curtailing the right to information of refugees in the camp area. There are reports of at least 34 extrajudicial killings of Rohingya refugees in the past two years by Bangladesh security forces.

These realities necessitate urgent, effective action by the Council and all States, including:

Thank you, Mr. President.