Rohingya crisis: Australia must bring in emergency intake of refugees, provide clarity on military training

Amnesty International is calling on the Australian Government to dig deep and take immediate steps to bring in an emergency intake of Rohingyan refugees and clarify the training Australia is providing to the Myanmar military.

“Bangladesh cannot do this on its own, Australia must provide humanitarian assistance and take immediate steps to bring in an emergency intake of Rohingyan refugees,” said Michael Hayworth, Campaigns Manager at Amnesty International Australia.

“The recent record of Australia resettling persecuted Rohingya from this region has been nothing short of shameful, with only 37 people resettled since 2013.

“The Australian Government has stepped up in times of crisis in the past, they should do it again now. This is not the time for diplomat speak. This is the time for concrete action. Australia must take responsibility and show leadership. They have an important role to play in protecting the Rohingyan people.”

Amnesty International is also calling on the Australian Government to provide clarity around the training they are providing to the Myanmar Military.

“The current crisis and violence calls for some hard lines to be drawn in the sand by the Australian Government. Is Australia prepared to continue to provide assistance to the Myanmar military when we know that what is happening in Myanmar may amount to crimes against humanity?” said Michael Hayworth.

“While Amnesty International certainly welcomes the $5 million committed by Australia to help ease the refugee crisis, this gesture is clearly inadequate given Australia’s role as one of the key countries in the region.

“This is a crisis in our own region, the Australian Government must do everything in their power to put pressure on the Myanmar authorities to end the violence and persecution against the Rohingya people and to allow humanitarian access to Rakhine state.”

Amnesty International’s researchers have been on the ground in Bangladesh and Myanmar see below for our latest reports.

10 September: Myanmar: New landmine blasts point to deliberate targeting of Rohingya

9 September: Myanmar: Army landmines along border with Bangladesh pose deadly threat to fleeing Rohingya