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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the plight of Rohingya refugees, including mass graves in Thailand

19.5.2015 - (2015/2711(RSP))

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

Josef Weidenholzer, Victor Boștinaru, Richard Howitt, Marc Tarabella, Elena Valenciano, Ana Gomes, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Kati Piri, Miriam Dalli, Krystyna Łybacka, Viorica Dăncilă, Victor Negrescu, Tibor Szanyi, Theresa Griffin, Michela Giuffrida, Siôn Simon, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Hugues Bayet, Miroslav Poche, Zigmantas Balčytis, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Nicola Danti, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Brando Benifei, Nicola Caputo, Neena Gill, Marlene Mizzi, Biljana Borzan, Momchil Nekov, Enrico Gasbarra, Alessia Maria Mosca, Nikos Androulakis, Demetris Papadakis, Arne Lietz, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, José Blanco López, Isabella De Monte, Tonino Picula, Goffredo Maria Bettini, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Eric Andrieu, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Jonás Fernández, Damiano Zoffoli, Kashetu Kyenge, Javi López, Afzal Khan, Simona Bonafè, Flavio Zanonato, Jeppe Kofod, Joachim Schuster on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0469/2015

Postupak : 2015/2711(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the plight of Rohingya refugees, including mass graves in Thailand


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular those of 13 June 2013 on the situation of Rohingya Muslims and of 23 May 2013 on reinstatement of Myanmar/Burma’s access to generalised tariff preferences,


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


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


- having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966,

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


- having regard to the "The Rohingya Crisis and the Risk of Atrocities in Myanmar: An ASEAN Challenge and Call to Action" report by ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights of April 2015,


- having regard to the "The Human Rights of Stateless Rohingya in Thailand" report by The Equal Rights Trust of 2014,


- having regard to Rule 123 (2) of its Rules of Procedure,


A. whereas human rights abuses against Rohingya communities and refugees constitute a threat to regional security in Southeast Asia; whereas a lasting solution to their extremely vulnerable situation can only be found in a regional framework with the participation of all countries concerned;


B. whereas Rohingyas continue to suffer from persecution, arbitrary detention, torture, forced displacement, abuse, and severe legal, economic, social and religious discrimination in Burma/Myanmar; whereas they continue to be arbitrarily deprived of their citizenship and remain therefore stateless; whereas impunity continues to prevail in the cases of crimes and atrocities against them;


C. whereas, according to ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, some 150,000 Rohingyas remain in more than 80 internal displacement camps in Rakhine State, with limited access to humanitarian aid, while more than 100,000 others have fled by sea or land, often at the hands of human traffickers, to other countries over the past years; whereas many Rohingya refugees lost their lives in sinking boats or by being pushed back into the sea; whereas several thousands of Rohingyas are reportedly trapped in crowded wooden boats in inhuman conditions and urgent need of assistance in the region;

D. whereas over one million Rohingyas live as refugees or migrants outside Burma/Myanmar; whereas Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Thailand are the countries to which the largest numbers of Rohingyas have fled; whereas many of them are not recognised and protected as refugees, live and work illegally with no documentation, and are victims of violence, exploitation, exclusion, marginalisation, and extreme poverty;


E. whereas many Rohingya refugees, lacking documentation and being therefore unable to move freely outside Burma/Myanmar, seek the assistance of human traffickers; whereas many of them are forced into bounded labour, or become victims of other forms of exploitation by these traffickers;


F. whereas Rohingya refugees use both land and sea routes to enter Thailand, which is only a transition country for the majority of them on a journey towards Malaysia and Australia; whereas, therefore, Thailand has a relatively small settled Rohingya population of 3000 people;


G. whereas Rohingya refugees arriving to Thailand live under constant security threat due to their vulnerable situation; whereas the police have recently unearthed mass graves with bodies of apparent victims of human trafficking in the mountains of southern Thailand; whereas 250 Rohingya refugees, abandoned by human traffickers, have reportedly been found in the same area recently;


H. whereas Rohingya migrants continue to be deported from Thailand, and from other countries in the region, by local authorities in contradiction with the principle of non-refoulement and the right to seek asylum; whereas many of them are reportedly held in inhuman conditions in immigration detention centres;


1. Expresses its deepest concern about the plight of Rohingya refugees in Southeast Asia and calls for regional and international mobilisation to provide them urgent assistance in their extremely vulnerable situation; expresses its condolences to the families of the victims of human traffickers, violence, and the lack of protection by official authorities in the countries of destination;


2. Calls on the government of Burma to put an immediate end to all forms of persecution, arbitrary detention, torture, forced displacement, abuse and discrimination against the Rohingyas, to fulfil its responsibility to protect them against violent attacks, intimidation and harassment, and to solve the problem of their legal citizenship status in cooperation and in agreement with them;


3. Expresses its concern about the continued communal tensions, including anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence, in Rakhine State and in other parts of Burma/Myanmar; welcomes the draft ceasefire agreement signed by the government and ethnic armed groups on 31 March 2015, and urges all parties to continue on the path of political dialogue; reminds the government and other parties of their responsibility to resolve the underlying issues behind communal tensions and violence in the country;




4. Condemns strongly all forms of violence, torture, abuse and exploitation of Rohingya refugees in Southeast Asia; urges all countries concerned to work together to address their extremely vulnerable situation and often inhuman conditions; encourages the European Union and the international community to play an active role in this field and to provide support and incentives to the countries concerned;


5. Stresses the importance of regional cooperation also in the field of fighting human trafficking in Southeast Asia; underlines the important role ASEAN can play in this regard;


6. Expresses its deep concern about the recent cases of unearthed mass graves of Rohingya refugees in southeast Thailand; calls for immediate investigations into these cases and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice;


7. Welcomes the continued commitment of Thailand to hosting refugees in need of protection; expresses, however, its concern about reports of refoulement of Rohingya asylum seekers and the turning back at sea of potential refugees; urges the government and the relevant authorities of Thailand, and of other countries in the region such as Indonesia and Malaysia, to fully comply with the principle of non-refoulement and to protect Rohingya refugees in line with their international obligations and international human rights standards;


8. Urges the High Representative/Vice-President to put and keep the situation of Rohingya communities and refugees in Southeast Asia high on the agenda of the EU's political dialogue with Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, ASEAN and its member countries;


9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, the parliaments and governments of Member States, the parliament and government of Burma/Myanmar, the parliament and government of Thailand, and the parliaments and governments of ASEAN member countries.