September 19th, 2018

NDP Condemns Genocide Against Rohingya

Statement by Hélène Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic and Cheryl Hardcastle, Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights:

"The NDP unequivocally condemns in the strongest of terms the unspeakable horrors detailed in a recent UN Fact-Finding Mission report on Myanmar. The 440-page report details the horrific atrocities waged against Rohingya men, women and children and calls for Myanmar’s military leaders to be brought to account on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The rampant and shocking sexual and gender-based violence, attacks on children, the torture and the use of landmines are despicable acts that must be punished.

The international community has spent too much time dithering and too little time aggressively pursuing avenues of international justice. Four months ago, the House of Commons unanimously passed an NDP motion calling for justice for the Rohingya people. Aside from implementing some targeted sanctions, the government has done too little to support accountability efforts for the situation in Myanmar.

It is way past time for the government to support International Criminal Court efforts to bring senior leaders of Myanmar to justice, particularly in light of the ICC’s announcement to begin a preliminary investigation into the deportation of Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh. The government must offer more financial and diplomatic support to ICC efforts, particularly at a time when it faces vehement antagonism from Trump’s United States.

In the meantime and in line with the government’s commitment to “redouble efforts in accountability and evidence-gathering,” as stipulated in the recent House of Commons motion, the government must show leadership in efforts to ensure evidence proving individual responsibility is collected and can be presented in a court of law.

Genocide is among the gravest international crimes, and will deeply impact the Rohingya people for generations to come. Canada must show leadership in the international community in the pursuit of justice for these crimes, lest this become another collective stain on the conscience of humanity. The Rohingya people have waited too long."