American Jewish World Service Applauds The Fact-Finding Mission On Myanmar; Calls On International Community To Act In The Face Of Injustice

Leading global human rights group demands accountability and justice against perpetrators in response to crimes against humanity committed against ethnic minorities in Myanmar. 

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 United Nation’s Fact-Finding Mission released its final report about the situation of ethnic minorities in the Myanmar: 

“The United Nations Fact-Finding Mission’s final report confirms that ethnic minorities in Burma’s Rakhine, Chin, Shan, Kachin and Karen states have suffered violations of international humanitarian law and face continued insecurity and injustice at the hands of the Burmese militaryWe strongly urge the international community to follow the recommendation of the United Nations Mission to hold the military accountable for its crimes by pursuing justice via the International Criminal Court as well as for parties to the Genocide Convention to bring a case against Myanmar to the International Court of Justice.  

Building on a 2018 report that the United Nations Mission released, which called for individuals to be investigated for the crime of genocide against the Rohingya people, the Mission now finds evidence of genocidal intent and state responsibility. It calls for Myanmar to be held accountable for its breach of commitments under the Genocide Convention. The Mission also raises significant concern about the approximately 600,000 Rohingya who remain in Myanmar and live under the constant threat of genocide.  

The Burmese military has long been the key perpetrator of human rights violations against ethnic minority groups in Burma, and the time has come for the global community to take real steps towards justice and accountability. The global community must follow the United Nations Mission’s recommendations and block funding sources that strengthen the Burmese military and enable it to commit acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. We also strongly urge the U.S. Senate to pass pending legislation that would sanction perpetrators of the genocide, and we urge the U.S. Administration to fully implement sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act to deny visas and freeze the assets of these top military officials. 

As the leading global Jewish organization supporting human rights in Burma, we understand the consequences of silence in the face of state-sanctioned brutality. We believe strongly that a coordinated multilateral effort along with robust and meaningful U.S. action to hold the Burmese military accountable will bring us closer to achieving justice and ending the human rights crisis in Burma. We are grateful to the United Nations Mission for its tireless efforts to document crimes against Burma’s ethnic minorities, and we are eager to see the work continue under the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.” 

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. 

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