• EN - English
Motion for a resolution - B8-1360/2016Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the Situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar

13.12.2016 - (2016/3027(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

Urmas Paet, Gérard Deprez, Nedzhmi Ali, Petras Auštrevičius, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Marielle de Sarnez, Martina Dlabajová, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Nathalie Griesbeck, Marian Harkin, Filiz Hyusmenova, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Carolina Punset, Frédérique Ries, Marietje Schaake, Hannu Takkula, Pavel Telička, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ivo Vajgl, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Hilde Vautmans, Paavo Väyrynen, Cecilia Wikström, Valentinas Mazuronis on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1345/2016

Procedure : 2016/3027(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Debates :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the Situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar/Burma and the Rohingya, in particular those of 20 April 2012, 13 September 2012, 22 November 2012, 13 June 2013 and 21 May 2015, 7 July 2016 and to its resolution of 23 May 2013 on reinstatement of Myanmar/Burma’s access to generalised tariff preferences,


-having regard to the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 20 June 2016 entitled ‘Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar’,


-having regard to the resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council of 24 March 2016 on the situation of human rights in Myanmar and of 3 July 2015 on the situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar,


-having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 1 June 2016 entitled ‘Elements for an EU strategy vis-à-vis Myanmar/Burma: A Special Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity’ (JOIN(2016)0024),


-having regard to the European Council Conclusions on Myanmar of 22 April 2013, lifting all EU sanctions against Myanmar, with the exception of an arms embargo


-having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 June 2016 on an EU strategy vis-à-vis Myanmar/Burma,


-having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,


-having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 18 May 2015 entitled ‘The EU and ASEAN: a partnership with a strategic purpose’ (JOIN(2015)0022),


-having regard to the ‘Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) in support of an investment protection agreement between the European Union and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar’, published in April 2016,


-having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 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 UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013)


-Having regard to the UN Secretary-General’s report of 29 September 2016 on women and peace and security;


-Having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), of 18 December 1979,


-having regard to Rules 135 of its Rules of Procedure



A. whereas the Rohingya are an ethno-religious Muslim minority who have for decades suffered brutal oppression, systematic persecution, segregation, killings, rape, exclusion, discrimination and other serious human rights violations;


B. whereas the Rohigya are fleeing a policy of collective punishment in Rakhine State, where security forces are mounting indiscriminate reprisal attacks, firing at villagers from helicopter gunships, torching hundreds of homes, carrying out arbitrary arrests and raping women and girls;


C. whereas thousands of refugees who have made it across the border to Bangladesh in desperate need of humanitarian assistance are being forcibly pushed back in flagrant violation of international law;


D. whereas UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in his report of 20 June 2016, described the continued serious rights violations against the Rohingya, including arbitrary deprivation of nationality, which renders them stateless, severe restriction of freedom of movement, threats to life and security, denial of the rights to health and education, forced labour, sexual violence and limitations on their political rights, ‘which may amount to crimes against humanity’; whereas Mr Al Hussein indicated that Rohingya are excluded from numerous professions and need special paperwork to access hospitals, which has resulted in delays and in the deaths of babies and their mothers during childbirth;


E. whereas, according to ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, some 120 000 Rohingya 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 in recent years; whereas many thousands risk their lives every year in an attempt to flee by land or sea and many have perished on the way;


F.whereas laws and policies are in place in Myanmar which are designed to deny minorities their fundamental rights and where impunity for serious violations against the Rohingya has encouraged further violence against them;


G.whereas Ms Suu Kyi speaks out for the peace and the national reconciliation, whereas the Arakan National Party (ANP), representing the hard-line Rakhine Buddhists, rejected the new term, accusing the government of indirectly accepting that the Rohingya are natives of Rakhine State, which the ANP rejects, and whereas in recent days thousands have taken to the streets in protest against the government; whereas Ms Suu Kyi who has taken on the posts of State Counsellor, Foreign Minister and Minister for the President’s Office in a civilian government, will have to increase but has not shown enough effort to solve the issue of Rohingya minorities in Myanmar


H.whereas the Rohingya population (both inside and outside Rakhine State) is the target of violent, aggressive and discriminatory propaganda and actions perpetrated by a number of radical Buddhist groups in Myanmar;


I.Whereas UN Special Representative of the SG on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura explicitly expressed her grave concern on the ethnically-motivated rapes of women in Myanmar; whereas sexual violence is a serious public health and human rights problem with both short- and long-term consequences on women’s physical, mental and sexual and reproductive health and is used as a weapon against the Rohingya;


J.Whereas rape is widely being used in Myanmar by the armed forces as a weapon of war to intimidate the ethnic nationalities; whereas widespread sexual violence has devastating consequences for victims – women, men, boys and girls – as well as their families and whole communities and whereas such violations remain vastly under-reported;


K.Whereas rape and other forms of sexual violence are prohibited under the Fourth Geneva convention, as well as Additional Protocol I and Additional Protocol II and whereas the International Criminal Court includes rape and some other forms of sexual violence in the list of war crimes and in the list of acts that constitute crimes against humanity when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population;


L.whereas Myanmar is still one of the most repressive country when it comes to LGBTI rights; whereas Sections 269, 270, 290, 292,294, 372, 377, 469 and 5(j) are used to restrict the rights of LGBTI people in Myanmar with section 377 imposing an imprisonment for sexual acts which shall not be less than 2 years and may extend 10 years in certain cases


M. whereas in recent years many political prisoners have been released, but numerous human rights defenders, journalists, critics of the government and the military, and others have been arrested under broad, vaguely worded provisions as they peacefully exercised their democratic rights;


1. stresses that the gravity of the continuing persecution of certain minorities, as documented in the recent report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights entitled ‘Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar’, demands immediate remedies, and calls on the government to act on the report’s recommendations, including those to abolish discriminatory ‘local orders’ in Rakhine State, to remove restrictive measures in respect of emergency medical treatment and to lift restrictions on freedom of movement;


2. Urges the military and security forces stop immediately the killings, harassment and rapes of the Rohingya people and the burning of their homes;


3. Urges the government of Myanmar and the relevant authorities of all countries in the region to fully comply with the principle of non-refoulement and to protect Rohingya refugees, in line with their international obligations and with international human rights standards;


4. Calls on the government of Myanmar to ensure that the Rohingya population will receive full access to humanitarian aid without any further delay;


5. Stresses that Bangladesh should uphold and respect the international law and assist those Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar that are in need of humanitarian assistance instead of pushing them back to Myanmar forcibly;


6. Reiterates its deepest concern about the plight of Rohingya refugees in South-East Asia and calls for regional and international mobilisation to provide them with urgent assistance in their extremely vulnerable situation; expresses its condolences to the families of victims of human traffickers, violence and lack of protection from official authorities in destination countries;


7. Reiterates the importance of prosecuting those who have committed crimes which violate the universal right of non-discrimination based on religion or belief and  calls on the government of Myanmar to fully respect the freedom of religion and believe in any form;


8. Believes impunity for crimes committed against the Rohingya people stands in the way of a process of reconciliation and sustainable peace and democracy in Myanmar;


9. Insists that the authorities should, as a matter of urgency, ensure free and unimpeded access to Rakhine State for humanitarian actors, the UN, international human rights organisations, journalists and other international observers;


10. Calls on the Myanmar Government to condemn unequivocally all incitement to racial or religious hatred, to take concrete steps to end such hatred immediately, and to implement specific measures and policies to prevent direct and indirect discrimination against the Rohingya in the future;


11. Echoes the European Council in calling for the building of effective democratic institutions, including an independent and impartial judiciary and a strong civil society, and for the promotion of good governance with a view to making Myanmar into a democracy with full respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights;


12. Calls on the government to develop an open democracy in which human rights are respected and all people are guaranteed freedom of expression, assembly and movement, free from any form of discrimination;


13. Urges the Government of Myanmar to implement immediately the recommendations set out in the resolution adopted at the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the situation of human rights in Myanmar;


14. Reiterates the need and expresses its support for an impartial and independent investigation into the wave of recent violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar; urges the government of Myanmar to cooperate with such an investigation


15.Calls on the Government of Myanmar to safeguard the Rohingya people from any form of discrimination and to end impunity for violations against the Rohingya; recalls the long-overdue statement of 18 May 2015 by the spokesperson for Ms Suu Kyi’s party, the NLD, that the Government of Myanmar should grant citizenship to the Rohingya minority; supports calls on Ms Suu Kyi, a winner of the Sakharov Prize, in using her key positions in the Government of Myanmar to improve the situation of the Rohingya minority;


16. Calls on the Government of Myanmar to reform the 1982 Citizenship Law and to restore the Rohingya minority’s citizenship; urges the Government of Myanmar and the Rakhine State authorities to immediately start registering all children at birth; asks the Government of Myanmar to repeal all discriminatory provisions;


17. Calls for the EU to continue to support the UNHRC in its efforts to help Rohingya refugees in the South and South-East Asia region;


18. Calls for the EU and its Member States to support the UNHRC Global 2014-24 Action Plan to End Statelessness;


19. Calls on the United Nations, Member States and civil society to facilitate and monitor the implementation of the conflict-related sexual violence provisions in the peace agreement, ensuring that women are meaningfully involved;


20. Calls on all actors to sustain gender-focused investments for preventing conflict, addressing fragility and building peace;


21. Is deeply concerned about allegations of rape and sexual assault of women and girls in Northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, reiterates the necessity for all parties to comply fully with their obligations under applicable international law, including the prohibition on all forms of sexual violence and recalls the responsibilities of the Government of Myanmar to conduct impartial and effective investigations into alleged incidents and to end impunity by prosecuting perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence; Emphasises the absolute necessity of ending the practice of rape to guarantee the mental, physical and sexual and reproductive rights of all women and girls;


22. Calls on the Myanmar Government to provide victims of gender-based violence with safe and confidential access to emergency assistance and lifesaving health services, including safe abortions as required by international humanitarian law and as foreseen in the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, as well as to legal assistance;


23. Stresses its grave concern over the situation of LGBTI people in Myanmar, who are still criminalised under Section 377 of the Penal Code, and continue to face arbitrary arrest and detention, intimidation, physical and sexual assault, and denial of health services; encourages the authorities to amend section 377 to apply only to instances of non-consensual sex;


24. Urges the Government of Myanmar to release immediately all political prisoners and those arrested on charges that violate international human rights law and norms;


25. Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to address the situation of the Rohingya at the highest possible political level in her contacts with Myanmar and with other ASEAN member countries;


26. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the 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 Member States, the Government and Parliament of Myanmar, the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, 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, the UN Human Rights Council and the governments and parliaments of other states in the region.