Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 16th June 2015.

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Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Labour, Rotherham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle the current situation of Rohingya Muslims (a) fleeing Burma and (b) being persecuted in Burma; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Following the discovery of a mass grave in Thailand containing the bodies of Rohingya on 1 May, and the subsequent crackdown on trafficking networks, the UK lobbied governments in the region to address the urgent humanitarian needs of those stranded at sea. We also lobbied the government of Burma at Ministerial level to take action to address the issue. Our Ambassador in Bangkok attended the international coordination meeting hosted by Thailand on 29 May, and we welcome ASEAN's commitment to discussing the issue further.

Now that the crisis is receding, our efforts are focused on addressing the underlying causes of the migration, including the dire living conditions and persecution faced by Rohingya Muslims in Burma. Since 2012, the UK has been one of the largest bilateral humanitarian donors in Rakhine State, contributing over £18m to humanitarian relief there. We also regularly raise the underlying political problems and human rights abuses both bilaterally and in international fora, and will continue to do so.

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