Since August 2017 over 700,000 Rohingya men, women and children have fled Myanmar in search of safety.The issue in depth
The Issue In Depth
Everything you need to know
Who are the Rohingya?
The Rohingya are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority of about 1.1 million living mostly in Rakhine state, west Myanmar, on the border with Bangladesh.
Though they have lived in Myanmar for generations, the Myanmar Government insists that all Rohingyas are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. It refuses to recognise them as citizens, effectively rendering the majority of them stateless.
In 2012 tensions between the Rohingya people and the majority Rakhine population – who are predominantly Buddhist – erupted into rioting, driving tens of thousands of mainly Rohingya people from their homes and into squalid displacement camps. Those living in the camps are confined there and segregated from other communities.
In October 2016, following lethal attacks on police outposts by armed Rohingya in northern Rakhine State, the Myanmar army launched a military crackdown targeting the community as a whole. Amnesty International has documented wide-ranging human rights violations against the Rohingya, including unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, the rape and sexual assault of women and girls and the burning of more than 1,200 buildings, including schools and mosques. At the time, Amnesty International concluded that these actions may amount to crimes against humanity.
Latest round of violence
The most recent wave of violence against the Rohingya people occurred in August 2017. The Myanmar military responded to attacks by a Rohingya armed group by unleashing a wave of violence against ordinary men, women and children.
Thousands of Rohingya people have died or lost their homes in a systemic campaign of ethnic cleansing. A UN report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Mynamar released in August 2018 stated that military leaders in the country must face charges of genocide.Close
Who is responsible?
The Myanmar military's ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya people has been relentless and systematic.Read More
Crimes against humanity
Our research shows the grave crimes committed against the Rohingya people were not the actions of a few rogue soldiers or units, but part of a tightly controlled operation, involving members of the military and Border Guard Police at all levels. Responsibility for these crimes extends to the very top of the chain of command – so too must justice and accountability.
The Rohingya still living in Rakhine State do so under an apartheid state and continue to face systematic denial of their rights to:
- a nationality
- freedom of movement
- adequate healthcare, education, and work opportunities
- participate in public life
- observe religious beliefs.
Australia is complicit in the violence against and repression of the Rohingya people – quietly funding the Mynamar military while forces continue to commit crimes against humanity.
The US and a number of countries in the European Union have taken steps to sanction senior military leaders, while the UK has cut ties all together.
A year on from the latest eruption of violence it is, it’s Australia’s turn to take a stand.Close
What we're askingRead More
Imagine you were denied an identity and a place to call home. Your rights to study, work, travel, marry and practice your religion didn’t exist – because you belong nowhere.
You’re not given any way to prove who you are or where you’re from, so gaining citizenship status anywhere is almost impossible. Wherever you go, you’re locked in detention – simply because of who you are.
This is the life of a Rohingya person.
We want to see the Australian Government:
- cease its support and assistance for the Myanmar military
- impose targeted sanctions on 13 military officials implicated in the atrocities
- push for accountability and justice for crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya people.