To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Burmese counterpart on the statement of 20 June 2016 by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that patterns of violence against the Rohingya may amount to crimes against humanity; and what steps his Department is taking to protect the Rohingya community.
7 December 2016
Neither I nor my Ministerial colleagues have specifically discussed the UN Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights' report of 20 June with Burmese counterparts. However, the Government has repeatedly raised concerns about the persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma. I last raised this when I met the Burmese Minister of Construction on 29 November. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my noble Friend, the Rt Hon. the Baroness of Anelay of St Johns raised our concerns when she visited Burma from 9-12 November. The British Government remains one of the largest bilateral aid donors in Rakhine State. In response to the recent escalation of violence in Rakhine, I and other Government Ministers have called on the Government of Burma to resume immediately humanitarian aid and conduct an independent investigation into allegations of human rights violations. The Government of Burma has now committed to do so. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.