International legal experts say Myanmar has violated its obligations to the United Nations child rights convention as the unprecedented crackdown mounted by the government of the Southeast Asian nation against the minority Rohingya Muslims has led to an exodus of hundreds of thousands of people from the persecuted community.
Legal experts commissioned by the Save the Children Norway announced the violation in a report on Saturday after analyzing research carried out by UN bodies and international human rights groups that have accused Myanmar’s military of mass killings, arson, and torture of the desperate members of the minority.
“The research finds that the response by the Myanmar Government to the August 2017 attacks on police posts, together with the ongoing discrimination against Rohingya, constitute violations of at least seven key articles of the (UN convention on the rights of the child),” their report said.
The Rohingyas who were previously based in Myanmar’s flashpoint state of Rakhine were forced to leave their homelands and took refuge in neighboring Bangladesh after the military intensified its widespread attacks on the persecuted minority in August last year.
Reports said at the time that the military systematically forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas to leave the country after it said that dozens of police and border outposts in Rakhine allegedly came under attack by a group that says it is defending the rights of the Rohingya. Rights groups accused the military of using the incident as a pretext to drive the minority group out of the country.
Myanmar denies the allegation and has said it waged a legitimate counter-insurgency operation after Muslim militants attacked security posts.
The analysis further found both the government and the security forces at fault. The Myanmar government “took positive steps” to assist the military operations and there was no evidence to suggest it did anything to curtail or denounce the security forces’ actions, the report added.
The report also referred to “indiscriminate and extrajudicial killing of Rohingya children, and the torture, ill-treatment and gender-based violence” committed against them.
The brutal campaign has forced some 700,000 Rohingya to flee their homeland since August 2017 and seek refuge in Bangladesh. Many of the displaced Rohingya are either living in squalid camps or just across the border in a plot of land known as the “no man’s land.”
The brutal campaign forced some 700,000 Rohingya to flee their homeland since August 2017 and seek refuge in Bangladesh.
Many of the displaced Rohingya are either living in squalid camps or just across the border in a plot of land known as the “no man’s land.”
The brutality against the Rohingya has its roots in the very fact that Myanmar does not recognize them as citizens and has denied citizenship rights to more than one million members of the community for several decades, alleging they are Bengalis who have in the past migrated to the country from Bangladesh. However, many Rohingyas can trace their ancestry in Myanmar.
On Friday, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said in a report that the refugees’ accounts of being shot, hacked and injured by explosives were supported by forensic evidence.
The UN has already described the shocking situation as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”