UN urges action to address rights violations against Rohingya

UN urges action to address rights violations against Rohingya

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Monday urged the new government in Myanmar to take concrete steps to end the systemic discrimination and ongoing human rights violations against minorities.He also released a new report that highlights the plight of these minorities, particularly the large Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine State, according to a message received here from Geneva.
The report, requested by the UN Human Rights Council in July 2015 on the situation of ‘Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar’, documents a wide range of human rights violations and abuses.
The Rohingya are suffering from arbitrary deprivation of nationality, severe restrictions on freedom of movement, threats to life and security, denial of rights to health and education, forced labour, sexual violence, and limitations to their political rights, among other violations, the report says.
Four years after the 2012 violence in Rakhine State, some 120,000 Rohingya and Kaman Muslims are still living in camps for internally displaced people.
There has also been an alarming increase in incitement to hatred and religious intolerance by ultra-nationalist Buddhist organisations.
The report raises the possibility that the pattern of violations against the Rohingya may amount to crimes against humanity.
“The new government has inherited a situation where laws and policies are in place that are designed to deny fundamental rights to minorities, and where impunity for serious violations against such communities has encouraged further violence against them,” Zeid said.
Rakhine has one of the lowest literacy rates in the country, and non-citizens, including Rohingya, are excluded from studying certain professions including medicine, economics and engineering.
The report notes that the government has taken some initial steps, including creating a Ministry of Ethnic Affairs; proposing a national peace conference; and establishing the ‘Central Committee on the Implementation of Peace, Stablity and Development of Rakhine State’.
“We stand ready to support the government of Myanmar in ensuring a successful transition to a society based firmly on the rule of law and the protection of human rights for all,” Zeid added.

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