Government responds to the five steps which the UK could take to address the Rohingya Crisis and to reports of UK companies being directly linked to the Burmese military

Oct 3, 2020 | Uncategorized

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David Alton taking evidence in a Burmese village where the homes and mosques of Muslim villagers had been fire bombed one night earlier

Lord Alton of Liverpool – To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to implement the proposals contained in the joint briefing by Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, Burma Campaign UK and Justice4Rohingya UK Five steps the UK can take now to start to address the Rohingya crisis, published on 17 September.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon – The UK, a lead donor on both sides of the border, is working hard to find solutions to the Rohingya crisis. We have convened the UN Security Council three times this year to discuss the Rohingya crisis and continue to use our UN role and bilateral engagement to push for solutions.

We support sanctions that target those responsible for human rights violations, which is why we listed the top two Myanmar generals in the Global Human Rights sanction regime in July.
The UK has publicly supported the ICJ case and provisional measures which are putting pressure on Myanmar to protect the Rohingya. We will continue to consider whether a UK legal intervention would add value to the merits of the case.

We recognise concerns about the impartiality of the Union Election Commission. We are not providing any direct financial support to the UEC, but are working through partners to promote international best practice and long-term institutional strengthening.

Supporting IDPs and refugees remains a priority and in 2019/20 we provided £30 million to support the displaced and conflict affected in Myanmar. The UK has ensured both a total and percentage increase in bilateral aid provided to IDPs and conflict affected people in Myanmar over the last three years.

We are deeply concerned about the denial of citizenship to the Rohingya, the Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific raised the issue of linking citizenship to voting rights when he spoke to the Myanmar Minister for International Cooperation in June.

The UK supports the RAC recommendation to reform the 1982 Citizenship Law and we calling on the Myanmar government, both publicly and privately, to fully implement the RAC recommendations.


Lord Alton of Liverpool – To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the report by Amnesty International Military Limited: The company financing human rights abuses in Myanmar, published on 10 September, and (2) the involvement of international businesses in the financing of the military in Myanmar, including units responsible for crimes under international law and other human rights violations.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon – The Amnesty International report is an important piece of work, adding to a growing body of evidence on the complicated relationship between military owned entities, the Myanmar military, and the wider economy.

We encourage all British companies to undertake their own due diligence on any investment projects, and offer advice on working with responsible local partners ensuring as far as possible they are not linked to military entities.

In response to the UN Fact Finding Mission (UN FFM) recommendations, the British Embassy in Yangon further strengthened its approach to avoid acquiring goods or services from military-owned companies, and contacted British Businesses about doing the same. We have also sanctioned all six individuals mentioned by the UN FFM for being involved in serious human rights violations including the top two military leaders.

We continue to work with trusted organisations, such as the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business, and the Myanmar Institute of Directors to help UK and other businesses, as they increase business transparency and improve corporate governance in Myanmar.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar is our local delivery partner and the Department for International Trade Country Director sits on its Board allowing us to reinforce our messaging. Every quarter, the British Ambassador in Yangon gives a Political and Economic briefing to the British Chamber’s membership on these issues

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With Rushanara Ali MP during a parliamentary meeting highlighting the plight of the Rohingya
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Rohingya Refugees

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