“The United States will finally recognize the crimes committed against the Rohingya people for what they are: genocide and crimes against humanity. The U.S. genocide declaration is a welcome and profoundly meaningful step. It is also a solid sign of commitment to justice for all the people who continue to face abuses by the military junta to this very today.
Rohingya refugees and diaspora have long called for this recognition, with the support of Members of Congress, legal experts, and advocacy groups like Refugees International alike. This is a day to celebrate a significant victory. But it is also time to redouble efforts to hold the perpetrators of that genocide accountable and to prevent future atrocities.
The United States must now use the momentum of this genocide determination to spur concrete actions. While several steps have been taken to increase pressure on the Burmese junta since its coup in February 2021, effective global coordination is lacking. The United States must use the gravity of the genocide determination to lead a new diplomatic push, including with Myanmar’s neighbors in Southeast Asia, for further targeted sanctions, an arms embargo, and support for evidence collection and accountability efforts before the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice.
The United States can also show solidarity with Rohingya survivors by maintaining humanitarian assistance for the million Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh and by working with Bangladesh to offer resettlement to Rohingya refugees in the United States.”
Refugees International has urged U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make a Rohingya genocide determination, including through a joint letter from 95 organizations. The letter builds on Refugees International’s efforts with the previous U.S. administration as part of the #CallitGenocide campaign, which included a nearly 9,000-signature petition and a legal and human rights experts letter (signed by two senior officials in the Biden administration). Refugees International’s analysis on why the attacks on the Rohingya constitute genocide can be found here.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Sarah Sheffer at [email protected] or +1 202 540 7029.