To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of how many Rohingya have died in violence this year; and if he will make a statement.
22 July 2015
The situation of the Rohingya in Burma’s Rakhine State remains of grave concern. It is clear that desperate living conditions are driving many people to make the dangerous journey to other countries in the region, fuelling the humanitarian crisis we have seen this year in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. We continue to urge the Burmese authorities to tackle this situation by working towards a long-term solution that brings peace and reconciliation and ensures the civil and human rights of all communities within Rakhine State, including full citizenship for the Rohingya. We are playing our part to resolve the situation in Rakhine. Since 2012, the UK has been one of the largest bilateral humanitarian donors there, investing over £18m in humanitarian support, including an additional £6.2m this year.
While we have not this year seen intercommunal violence, as witnessed in 2012, the situation remains fragile. Our approach is to seek an end to all violations by encouraging a resolution of the underlying problems and de-escalating tensions. We have made clear to the government of Burma that allegations of human rights abuses must be dealt with through an independent and transparent investigative and prosecutorial process that meets international standards. The UK was instrumental in securing the strong UN Resolution on Burma at the Human Rights Council in March, which extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Professor Yanghee Lee. We very much support Professor Lee’s investigations into the human rights situation in Burma, including in Rakhine, and the reports she has issued on these.