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The Financial Express

CEDAW, CRC call for ending Rakhine violence

India asks Myanmar to ensure refugees’ safe return


| Updated: October 24, 2017 00:55:04


CEDAW, CRC call for ending Rakhine violence

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) have called on the Myanmar authorities to immediately stop violence in northern Rakhine State, report agencies.

They also urged Myanmar to promptly and effectively investigate and vigorously prosecute cases of violence against women and children.

"We're particularly worried about the fate of Rohingya women and children subject to serious violations of their human rights, including killings, rape and forced displacement," the experts said in a joint statement issued Wednesday.

Such violations, they said, may amount to crimes against humanity.

"We're deeply concerned at the State's failure to put an end to these shocking human rights violations being committed at the behest of the military and other security forces, and of which women and children continue to bear the brunt," the statement said.

The committees urged the civil and military authorities of Myanmar to fully comply with their obligations under both the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and to exercise due diligence and prevent, investigate, punish and ensure redress for acts of private individuals or militias under its jurisdiction that violate women's and children's rights.

To ensure full accountability, the committees also called on the Myanmar government to grant access to and fully cooperate with the fact-finding mission established by the UN Human Rights Council, so it can conduct thorough and independent investigations.

The experts also highlighted that the statelessness of Rohingya women and children and their protracted displacement had exposed them to high levels of poverty and malnutrition, and limited their access to basic rights including education, employment and health care, as well as imposing restrictions on their freedom of movement.

"We urge the Myanmar authorities to address the needs of internally displaced Rohingya women and children, as well as of Rohingya refugee women and children living in camps in neighbouring countries, with the support of the international community," the experts said.

This should include the provision of necessary assistance and creating adequate conditions to ensure their prompt and durable return to their places of origin, if they so wish, in safety and dignity, they said.
The committees also urge the Myanmar government to grant access to and fully cooperate with humanitarian aid agencies.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh on Wednesday solicited support from the UN to ensure return of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to their homeland in Myanmar.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali raised the issue when Under Secretary General of the UN Office for the Coordination of the Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) Mark Lowcock and Executive Director of Unicef Anthony Lake jointly met him at his office.

Both of them have just returned from Cox's Bazar after visiting the camps where the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals have taken shelter.

Another report adds: India has asked Myanmar to ensure security to prevent further Rohingya exodus and encourage their safe and sustainable return from Bangladesh.

An Indian representative at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva asked Myanmar security forces to handle the situation with restraint, according to India TV.

"India remains deeply concerned at the situation in Rakhine state of Myanmar. It is important for the Myanmar security forces to handle the situation with restraint, focusing on the welfare of the civilian population," a media report quoted the Indian representative as telling the Council's 36th Session on Friday.

"As a neighbour, friend and partner of Bangladesh, India has responded promptly to support the Government of Bangladesh in meeting the relief requirements posed by this large influx," the statement said.

The only lasting solution to the situation in Rakhine is the socio-economic and infrastructure development in the state and a resolution of underlying issues of citizenship and residence in line with the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission, it said.

"All efforts must be made to restore normalcy in the state through a solution based on respect for peace, communal harmony, justice, dignity and democratic values," the Indian representative said.

Meanwhile, the US has highly appreciated Bangladesh's humane approach in providing temporary shelter and emergency humanitarian assistance to these Myanmar nationals fleeing the violence in the Rakhine State.

Bangladesh side expressed its deep appreciation for US's support to Bangladesh in handling this unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

The issue of more than half a million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to Bangladesh since August 25 featured prominently in the sixth security dialogue between the two countries.

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