Burma: Rohingya

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 20th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Emergency Response and Assessment Team has predicted that the repatriation of the Rohingya would be an easy process; what assessment they have made of the (1) dangers faced by, and (2) rights to full citizenship of, the Rohingya during their repatriation; and what steps are being taken to bring justice to those responsible for crimes against the Rohingya.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

​We welcome ASEAN's engagement on this issue through their Humanitarian Assistance Centre. However, we remain deeply concerned that the conditions for safe, voluntary and dignified returns in line with UNHCR principles are not in place. The UK has been clear, as has the UN Security Council, that before repatriations start, Myanmar must create the conditions in Rakhine to allow the Rohingya to return safely, voluntarily and with dignity. Refugees must have full access and independent information about conditions in areas of return and arrangements for repatriation.

We have publicly called for the removal of restrictions that withhold citizenship from individuals who are not from a community recognised by the Myanmar authorities as a 'national race', such as the Rohingya. The UK has supported the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission's to reform the 1982 Citizenship Law and urges the Myanmar government to fully implement them.

The UK co-sponsored the resolution at the UN Human Rights Council which set up the Fact Finding Mission in March 2017. This has since found that there may be sufficient grounds for prosecuting senior Myanmar military officials for crimes against humanity. The UK also to secure a resolution which established a mechanism to collect and preserve evidence of atrocities for future prosecutions. We continue to press the Myanmar authorities to ensure its domestic accountability process is independent, credible and results in prosecutions.

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