Crimes against the Rohingya: Accountability

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – in the House of Commons on 15th June 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

What diplomatic steps he has taken to help ensure that the Myanmar military personnel responsible for crimes committed against the Rohingya are held to account.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Accountability is vital. The military has committed atrocities against the Rohingya and other minorities and must be held to account. We have sanctioned 16 individuals, including the commander-in-chief, for human rights violations against the Rohingya. We have sanctioned the two largest military-economic entities, which are both a key source of revenue for the military. We have boosted our funding to the independent investigative mechanism, which preserves evidence for future prosecution, and we have been clear in our support for the International Court of Justice process and that we urge the military to comply with the provisional measures ruling.

Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

May I first extend my solidarity with, and deepest condolences to, the HALO Trust staff who were killed in Afghanistan and to all those who were injured?

Myanmar’s military has been allowed to act with impunity against the Rohingya, and its assault has now widened to the whole population following the military coup earlier this year. At the same time, our Government have unfortunately slashed the budget by nearly half for the refugee camps in Bangladesh, and humanitarian cuts are likely in Myanmar. While the Foreign Secretary is listening, may I ask the Minister once again to reverse those cuts, because they are literally costing lives? Will the Foreign Secretary and the Minister also please consider formally joining Gambia on the genocide prevention case at the ICJ? If they do not agree to do so now after all that has happened and after all that the Myanmar military has done, then when will we formally join, given that we are a leading country in relation to Myanmar?

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

I know how passionate the hon. Lady is about the situation in Myanmar, particularly on behalf of the Rohingya community. On the ICJ case, we have been absolutely clear in our support for the process. We have urged the military to comply with the provisional measures rulings, and we have provided funding to enable Rohingya refugees to attend those hearings in December 2019.

With regard to aid support, we remain a leading donor to the Rohingya response, providing more than £320 million to the Rohingya response in Bangladesh since 2017. That includes £27.6 million of new funding announced in May in Rakhine State. We have provided more than £44 million to all communities since 2017, including over £25 million for the Rohingya. The Government are providing education, nutrition, water, sanitation, health and livelihoods.