The systematic oppression and persecution of the Rohingya people can be dated back to the 1960’s under Ne Win’s dictatorship. They have even been described by different forum as the forgotten victims, due to the gross human rights violations that they have faced under the Tatmadaw generals, without any real justice being found.
The Human Rights Council Resolution 34/22, was an independent international fact finding mission on Myanmar. It was tasked with the mandate of finding facts and circumstances of alleged human rights violations by military and security officers especially in the Rhakine state. The mission found that, there had been gross breaches of International Law, namely: International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law. Further to this, before 2012, it was found that there had been and still continued to be institutionalised oppression, discriminatory treatment, marginalization, lack of legal status, arbitrary deprivation of nationality, regulation of citizenship and political rights. Leaving the Rohingya people de facto stateless. Ms Coomaraswamy, a former UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict stated, “The scale of Brutality and systematic nature of rape and violence indicate a deliberate strategy to intimidate, terrorize or punish civilian population, this is inclusive of tactics such as rape and sexual violence”. Given the above, the Mission has called for the situation in Myanmar to be referred to the International Criminal Court.
It is recognised by Human rights experts and by the UN that the Rohingya people cannot become forgotten, their clear appeals must be answered with help and actions. Although states such as Bangladesh have opened their boarders to the Rohingya refugees their resources are stretched to the limit while wealthier countries close their doors.
In writing this piece, it my hope that we can open our eyes to the gross human rights violations that continue to occur daily. We all ought to adopt shared responsibility for the thousands of deaths of the Rohingya people and not wait until the matter has reached devastating heights.