Motion for a resolution on the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar – B8-2017-0529

The European Parliament,

having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar and on the situation of Rohingya Muslims,

having regard to the Council Conclusions on the EU strategy with Myanmar/Burma of 20 June 2016,

having regard to the joint communication by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council: ‘Elements for an EU strategy vis-à-vis Myanmar/Burma: A Special Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity’,

having regard to Europan Parliament report on Statelessness in South and South East Asia of 13 June 2017;

having regard to the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto,

having regard to the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

having regard to the UNHCR Global 2014-24 Action Plan to End Statelessness,

having regard to Articles 18 – 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948,

having regard to Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,

having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

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A. Whereas the more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims have lived in Myanmar for generations, but are currently one of the world’s most persecuted minorities; whereas they are officially stateless since the 1982 Burmese Citizenship Law; whereas the Rohingya are unwanted by the authorities of Myanmar and by the neighbouring countries, although some of those host large refugee populations;

B. Whereas the authorities of Myanmar continue to deny the Rohingya their most basic rights, many thousands risk their lives every year in an attempt to flee by land or sea and many have perished on the way or ended up in situations of exploitation;

C. Whereas in the end of August a fresh outbreak of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has caused tens of thousands of Rohingya civilians to flee towards Bangladesh;

D. Whereas more than 100 Rohingya Muslims are alleged to have been killed by Burmese security forces in a huge military crackdown after Rohingya insurgents conducted a series of attacks against military and police in the north of Rakhine state;

E. Whereas human rights organizations, using satellite imagery, have reported large-scale destruction of homes in parts of northern Rakhine State currently inaccessible for NGOs and independent observers;

F. Whereas in recent weeks more than 120 000 Rohingya have fled into neighbouring countries, in particular Bangladesh;

G. Whereas, since 2011, Myanmar has taken significant steps to reform its economy and political system; whereas in November 2015 a new national Parliament was elected and in March 2016 a democratically elected national Government was installed;

H. Whereas in response, the EU and other global players have lifted sanctions and allowed Myanmar to reintegrate in global political and economic structures; whereas the EU and its Member States have played a significant role in the reform and opening up process and have contributed with, among others, significant development aid, training and technical cooperation, supervision of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and trade under the Everything But Arms (EBA) facility; whereas the EU and Myanmar hold annual human rights dialogues;

I. Whereas many problems persist however, including in the area of human rights and in particular regarding the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority;

Whereas Sakharov and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who is now part of the new Government of Myanmar, indicated that tensions were being fanned by fake news;

J. Whereas UN officials have gone on record to state that Myanmar is attempting to ‘ethnically cleanse the Muslim Rohingya minority from its territory’, the Myanmar military have been reported to talk about an “unfinished business” and authorities have also refused a fact-finding mission by the UN earlier this year;

K. Whereas on 10 September the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) announced a one – month unilateral ceasefire in order to enable humanitarian actors to assess and respond to the humanitarian crisis; whereas government brushed it off saying it will not negotiate with terrorists;

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1. Is extremely concerned about the reports of violent clashes in northern Rakhine State; confirms that the Myanmar authorities have the duty to investigate the recent attacks, but urges them to do so taking into account human rights standards and obligations;

2. Demands the Government of Myanmar provide unconditional access to international observers from the EU and the United Nations to investigate the recent violence;

3. Requests furthermore the Government of Myanmar immediately allows humanitarian aid to reach conflict areas and displaced people; in this respect deplores the decision of Myanmar government not to accept a one – month truce offered by Arsa;

4. Demands that the Government and the civil authorities of Myanmar end the terrible discrimination and segregation of the Rohingya and other minority communities;

5. Reiterates its demand on the Government of Myanmar to reform the 1982 Citizenship Law and to restore citizenship of the Rohingya minority immediately; urges the Government of Myanmar and the Rakhine State authorities to immediately start registering all children at birth;

6. Demands the Government of Myanmar reintegrates every single Royinga refugee has had to flee their homeland

7. Calls on the Government of Myanmar to lift all unnecessary, discriminatory and disproportional restrictions in Rakhine State;

8. Calls on the Government of Myanmar to combat trafficking of persons and transnational organized crime;

9. Recommends that the governments of the countries that cope with the influx of Rohingya refugees cooperate closely with UNHCR which has the technical expertise to screen for refugee status and the mandate to protect refugees and stateless people; urges those countries to not push the Rohingya refugees back, at least until a satisfactory and dignified solution for their situation has been found;

10. Calls on the Government of Myanmar to continue to improve its cooperation with the UN, including Special Procedures Mandate holders;

11. Calls yet again on Sakharov Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to use her leadership position in the Government of Myanmar to condemn the violence, murder and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority;

12. Calls on the EEAS to increaseits regular bilateral human rights dialogue and to discuss the situation regarding problematic legislation and discrimination of minorities, in particular the Rohingyas, in detail and to report back to the European Parliament regarding the outcome of these discussions;

13. Calls on the EU to support the UNHRC in its efforts to help Rohingya refugees in the South and Southeast Asia region;

14. Calls on the EU and its Member States to make their continued support of the Government of Myanmar and the new democratic structures of Myanmar conditional on a rapid improvement to the situation of its minorities;

15. Calls on the EU and its Member States to support the UNHCR Global 2014-24 Action Plan to End Statelessness;

16. Invites the Parliament to organise an extraordinary fact-finding mission to Myanmar and neighbouring Bangladesh as soon as possible;

17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and Parliament of Myanmar, the HR/VP, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States, the Secretary General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the UN Special Representative for Human Rights in Myanmar, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Human Rights Council.

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