Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:01 pm on 20th December 2018.

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Photo of Imran Hussain Imran Hussain Shadow Minister (Justice) 2:01 pm, 20th December 2018

I partly accept what the Minister says. Of course condemnation alone does not go the length, but it is absolutely a starting point. Regrettably, the Minister did not condemn at that point—he knows that he did not use the word “condemnation”—and did not strongly condemn the Burmese Government for their actions at that point, perhaps because he wanted to pursue more diplomatic channels. There are times for diplomatic channels, but perhaps condemnation is more appropriate when genocide and ethnic cleansing is happening.

Those on the fact-finding missions to Burma saw for themselves the horrors that have led to the creation of one of the biggest refugee crises ever seen. So great was the crisis, and so brutal the violence, that the weekly outflow of refugees fleeing Burma rose to a level unseen since Rwanda in the 1990s, as many Members have mentioned. Yet although the refugees, having fled across difficult and even hostile terrain that saw many die on the journey, have escaped the boot of the Burmese military, they are not safe in Bangladesh. The conditions in the camps in which they reside are on the edge of inhumane.

Many hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green and Bow, have described graphically the conditions in the camps. I will not repeat what has been said, but I want to highlight the really important point made by the hon. Member for St Albans about the children born in Cox’s Bazar. What is their future? What are the thoughts of the young people living day to day in those squalid conditions? Let us all reflect on that.