AJWS Applauds the U.S. House Of Representatives for Addressing Genocide Of the Rohingya People in The National Defense Authorization Act

Leading Human Rights Group calls on the U.S. Senate to pass the same provisions without delay

Rori Kramer, Director of Government Affairs for American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading global Jewish human rights organization, issued the following statement as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes calls for justice and accountability in Burma: 

“We applaud the House of Representatives for their latest show of bipartisan support and leadership to end human rights atrocities in Burma by calling for specific steps to seek justice and accountability for the Rohingya people and other ethnic minorities the country. This bill would sanction leaders of the Burmese military; demand safe, dignified, and voluntary repatriation of Rohingya refugees; and promote efforts to achieve justice for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

This is another sign that the U.S. House is championing this issue for the second year in a row, following last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as well as near-unanimous support for a resolution calling the persecution of the Rohingya people what it is—genocide.

Since the Burmese military launched a massive genocidal campaign against the Rohingya people nearly two years ago, in August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya people have been forced to flee their home country to escape horrific violence—simply because of their ethnicity and religion.

We thank Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Steve Chabot (R-OH) for their leadership and bipartisan sponsorship of this Burma legislation to advance justice for the Rohingya people.

We urge the Senate to include similar provisions regarding the situation in Burma in the final NDAA, and we call on the full Congress to quickly pass this legislation. Congress must send a clear message to the Burmese military and the global community that the United States will not stay silent in the face of genocide and other atrocities.

As the leading global Jewish organization supporting human rights in Burma, we know the importance of addressing the culture of impunity that has fostered years of human rights violations and mass atrocities against all ethnic and religious minorities in Burma. We cannot stand by when the Rohingya people are targeted for genocide because we know from our own history and the history of all persecuted minorities that staying silent makes us complicit.”

About American Jewish World Service’s work in Burma

For more than 17 years, AJWS has supported the human rights of ethnic minorities in Burma, including the Rohingya people. AJWS provides direct financial support to more than 30 human rights organizations in Burma that have been working to advance the rights of minority ethnic groups and to create a truly pluralistic and democratic society. Please read more about our work in Burma here.

For More Information

If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Tanyanika Davis, Director of Media Relations, at tdavis@ajws.org.