May 23rd, 2018
NDP: Refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court
On Wednesday, the NDP will present a motion in the House of Commons calling on the government to support a referral of the situation in Myanmar by the UN Security Council to the International Criminal Court, among other actions to seek justice and accountability for the atrocities that the Burmese military has committed against the Rohingya people.
“The campaign of ethnic cleansing waged by the Burmese military against the Rohingya people in Myanmar is nothing short of horrific, and it should shock the conscience of all of us into action,” said Helene Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic. “It is my sincere hope that all Members of the House of Commons will be on the right side of history and support this motion for justice and accountability.”
Over 750,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar since October 2016, escaping a deliberate, large-scale military campaign of killings, rape, arson and other atrocities that may well amount to crimes against humanity. The Government of Myanmar has been unwilling to credibly investigate these crimes and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.
“At a time when international justice efforts are facing serious obstacles, Canada has an obligation – as a founding member of the International Criminal Court – to support the Court’s operations and fight the culture of impunity that fuels the commission of these mass atrocity crimes,” said Cheryl Hardcastle, NDP Critic for International Human Rights. “Canada should heed the calls of the Report of Special Envoy to Myanmar Bob Rae, take an important step in advancing international justice and support this motion.”
The motion also calls on the government to support the work of the UN Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, increase diplomatic efforts to call on all States to support an ICC referral, and impose new sanctions on those responsible for the crimes committed against the Rohingya people acts.
The motion reads as follows:
That the House : (a) acknowledge that (i) over 750,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar since October 2016 to escape the Burmese military’s large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing, (ii) the atrocities committed by the Burmese military include sexual violence, mass killings and widespread arson and may well amount to crimes against humanity, (iii) Burmese authorities have been unwilling to credibly investigate these horrific crimes and bring those responsible to account; and (b) therefore call on the Government of Canada to (i) implement the recommendations in the Report of Special Envoy to Myanmar Bob Rae, (ii) support the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who has described the campaign against the Rohingya as a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing,” and has said that he “has strong suspicions that acts of genocide may have taken place in Rakhine State since August,” (iii) redouble efforts in accountability and evidence-gathering; (iv) publicly support a referral of the situation in Myanmar by the United Nations Security Council to the International Criminal Court, and (v) increase diplomatic efforts to call on all Member States of the United Nations, particularly members of the United Nations Security Council, to support and advocate for such a referral; (vi) impose tough new sanctions on those responsible for these acts, including the Commander-in-Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.