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Procedure : 2018/2756(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0293/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0293/2018

Debates :

PV 14/06/2018 - 4.3
CRE 14/06/2018 - 4.3

Votes :

PV 14/06/2018 - 7.3

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0261

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 280kWORD 55k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0292/2018
12.6.2018
PE621.691v01-00
 
B8-0293/2018

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure


on the situation of the Rohingya refugees, in particular the plight of children (2018/2756(RSP))


Charles Tannock, Karol Karski, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Notis Marias, Monica Macovei, Ruža Tomašić, Amjad Bashir, Jan Zahradil, Valdemar Tomaševski, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner on behalf of the ECR Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on the situation of the Rohingya refugees, in particular the plight of children (2018/2756(RSP))  
B8‑0293/2018

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar and on the situation of the Rohingya Muslims;

 

- having regard to previous Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on the situation in Myanmar, including those of 26 February 2018;

 

- having regard to the 26 April 2018 Council decision imposing further restrictive measures on Myanmar, strengthening the EU's arms embargo, and targeting Myanmar army and border guard police officials;

 

- having regard to statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the situation in Myanmar;

 

- having regard to the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the additional protocols thereof;

 

- having regard to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights of 1966;

 

- having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989;

 

- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948;

 

- having regard to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief of 1981;

 

- having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;

 

- having regard to the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto;

 

- having regard to the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness;

 

- having regard to the Final Report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State;

 

- having regard to the Presidential statement of the United Nations Security Council on violence in the Rakhine State of 6 November 2017;

 

- having regard to the report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar of March 2018;

 

- having regard to the European Parliament report on Statelessness in South and South East Asia of 13 June 2017;

 

- having regard to the UN Convention on the Prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel mines, and on their destruction of September 1997;

 

- having regard to the Memorandum of Understanding between Myanmar and Bangladesh on the repatriation of Rohingya people signed on 23 November 2017;

 

- having regard to the Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis issued in March 2018 by the United Nations and partner organisations;

 

- having regard to the United Nations Secretary General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence of 16 April 2018;

 

- having regard to the report of April 2018 on the situation of the Rohingya refugees by the Canadian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Myanmar;

 

- having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure;

 

A. whereas the one million Rohingya Muslim people of Rakhine State, Myanmar, are considered to be the world’s most persecuted minority and its largest stateless group;

 

B whereas since August 2017 Myanmar authorities have driven out more than 740,000 men, women and children from the region, torching their homes, crops, and villages, and preventing them from returning; whereas the United Nations and human rights organisations have also documented reports of killings, torture, and the rape of women and children, with many of those fleeing having crossed the border into neighbouring Bangladesh;

 

C. whereas more than 6,700 Rohingya Muslims, including at least 730 children under the age of five, were killed in the first month of the crackdown;

 

D. whereas the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has described the Myanmar government operations as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and “a cynical ploy to forcibly transfer large numbers of people without possibility of return”;

 

E. whereas the Government of Myanmar and the Myanmar military and security forces have repeatedly denied attacking Rohingya civilians and settlements, attributing incidences of violence to its campaign against a Rohingya terrorist insurgency or to internal infighting between Rohingya militants;

 

F. whereas the violence against the Rohingya people bears every hallmark of state-sanctioned, systematic ethnic cleansing;

 

G. whereas the one million Rohingya refugees - including those who fled earlier violence and persecution - are living in crowded, makeshift camps in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh in what have been described as “very poor” conditions; whereas the situation is expected to deteriorate significantly due to the effect of monsoon rains and cyclones;

 

H. whereas of the 700,000 Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh in the last 12 months, around 450,000 are children;

 

I. whereas before fleeing Myanmar Rohingya children struggled to attend school, with those able to study doing so in overcrowded classrooms with very few facilities; whereas only very young Rohingya children receive basic education in the refugee camps with older children receiving little or no access to formal schooling;

 

J. whereas aid agencies predict as many as 48,000 Rohingya women and girls could give birth in the coming weeks as a result of rape reportedly committed by the Myanmar military during the wave of violence in 2017;

 

K. whereas the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres blacklisted the Myanmar armed forces in his annual report on conflict-related sexual violence, published in April 2018;

 

L. whereas 43,000 Rohingya parents were reported lost and presumed dead in the first six months of the military crackdown in Myanmar, leaving tens of thousands of children unaccompanied or orphaned in the refugee camps and vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation, and prostitution; whereas the total is far in excess of official government figures;

 

M. whereas on 16 March 2018 the United Nations and partner organisations launched the Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, seeking US$951mn to meet the urgent needs of the Rohingya refugees and more than 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in the communities hosting them; whereas only around three quarters of the funding needed was received during the previous emergency response;

 

N. whereas the authorities in Yangon have consistently refused to allow the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee to enter the country;

 

O. whereas Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been detained in Myanmar since December 2017, having been arrested while investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya men and boys in a village in Myanmar’s Rakhine state; whereas both men are waiting to hear if they will be charged under the Official Secrets Act which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison;

 

P. whereas the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, signed and ratified by all EU Member States, affirms that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, in particular genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, must not go unpunished;

 

Q. whereas international humanitarian and human rights law prohibits the targeting of individuals or groups based on religious or ethnic identity, as well as attacks against civilians not taking part in hostilities, and individuals bringing humanitarian aid to those trapped by the conflict; whereas such actions may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity;

 

1. Condemns the violence against Rohingya men, women, and children since August 2017, including grievous human rights violations, including mass rapes, targeted killings and the destruction of civilian property;

 

2. Demands that the Myanmar authorities grant immediate and unfettered access to independent monitors, international human rights organisations, journalists and other international observers with the aim of conducting independent and impartial investigations in to allegations of serious human rights violations against the Rohingya community, including allegations of sexual violence against women and girls;

 

3. Deeply regrets that a year since the violence against and forced migration of the Rohingya people of Myanmar there appears to be no realistic, sustainable, peaceful solution to the crisis, or for their safe return home;

 

4. Notes that as a consequence of the violence the presence of up to one million refugees in Bangladesh is placing a significant strain on local resources and communities already contending with their own domestic challenges;

 

5. Recalls that violence against a civilian population, particularly where the destruction of civilian property, murder of civilians and mass rape is involved, is historically proven to foster the resentment and unrest that ultimately feeds terrorist groups such as those condemned by the Myanmar military;

 

6. Praises the Government and people of Bangladesh for their humanitarian response to the Rohingya crisis, and encourages further international support to those communities hosting the refugees, including in addressing domestic social, educational, economic and healthcare challenges;

 

7. Further praises the work of the humanitarian aid agencies in supporting the Rohingya community, and in particular their provision of safe spaces for children, and for girls, as well as educational opportunities for younger children;

 

8. Expresses concern that the lack of educational and employment opportunities for adolescent children could lead them to become victims of exploitation or even radicalisation, and encourages aid agencies to work with the Bangladeshi authorities in addressing issues relating to the education of older children;

 

9. Encourages the Bangladesh authorities to ease restrictions on access to employment, training, and education in order to allow Rohingya people to access economic development and learning opportunities in support of their own community;

 

10. Supports efforts to ensure sufficient funding and healthcare facilities are available for the provision of specialist services for those who have been victim of gender-based violence;

 

11. Reminds the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar of their obligations under the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which they have both ratified;

 

12. Strongly encourages the Bangladeshi authorities and other neighbouring countries to respect the principle of non-refoulement;

 

13. Urges the Government of Myanmar, and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in particular, to condemn unequivocally all incitement to racial or religious hatred and to combat social discrimination and hostilities against the Rohingya and other minority groups; further urges the Government of Myanmar to uphold the universal right to freedom of religion or belief;

 

14. Calls on State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to push for the implementation of the recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine state - the so-called Annan report;

 

15. Supports efforts to intensify a political process based on implementing the Annan recommendations in order to prevent further violence, and to maintain peace and foster reconciliation;

 

16. Calls on the UN Security Council and General Assembly to adopt effective diplomatic and political measures to ensure compliance by the Government of Myanmar with its obligations regarding the Rohingya minority, specifically providing protection from abuses and unhindered access to aid;

 

17. Notes the 23 November 2017 agreement between the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar on the repatriation of Rohingya people, but regrets the total lack of progress in its implementation due to the failure of the Myanmar authorities to guarantee the safety and sustainable return of the refugees;

 

18. Encourages further consideration of the possibility of establishing an international impartial and independent mechanism (IIIM) into crimes committed against the Rohingya population in Myanmar, similar to that established by the UN General Assembly for Syria;

 

19. Demands the immediate release of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and for all media to be allowed to investigate allegations of violence and killings in Myanmar without fear of intimidation, violence, arrest, or imprisonment;

 

20. Encourages European Union Member States and their international partners to continue to impose targeted sanctions against those responsible for violence and crimes against the Rohingya people where credible evidence supports such measures;

 

21. Demands that the Government of Myanmar continues its cooperation with the United Nations, including with UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee, and the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar;

 

22. Urges a reinvigoration of the Myanmar-EU Human Rights Dialogue to specifically discuss issues relating to the Rohingya community and violence against other minority groups;

 

23. Encourages international support to broker political dialogue between the Government of Myanmar and leaders of the Rohingya community, in line with the conclusions of the UN Human Rights Council resolution of March 2017;

 

24. Restates its demand that the Vice President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy works with Member States to facilitate a high level inter-governmental conference in order to provide longer term solutions in support of the Rohingya people, including in areas such as infrastructure and community redevelopment, citizenship rights, access to healthcare and education, and to clean sanitation and water supplies;

 

25. Calls on the Government of Myanmar to immediately remove all landmines on the border with Bangladesh and to fully cooperate with the UN and international observers during this process; underlines the need for the international community to offer technical and financial assistance if deemed necessary so that this task is carried out in a timely and effective manner;

 

26. Regrets that Myanmar is not a signatory to the Rome Statute and therefore calls on the United Nations Security Council to consider a referral to the ICC Special Prosecutor in order to investigate the issue of forcible deportation and crimes against humanity;

 

27. Reminds the Myanmar authorities that international humanitarian and human rights law prohibits the targeting of individuals or groups based on religious or ethnic identity, as well as attacks against civilians not taking part in hostilities, and individuals bringing humanitarian aid to those trapped by the conflict;

 

28. Calls for continued international pressure on those EU Member States and international partners to fulfil commitments made in support of funding appeals relating to the Rohingya crisis, including specific provision for children, and victims of gender-based violence;

 

29. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and Parliament of Myanmar, Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States, the Government and Parliament of Bangladesh, the Government and Parliament of Myanmar, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the UN Human Rights Council.

 

Last updated: 12 June 2018Legal notice