ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
The Asia Justice Coalition works as a collective to amplify our members’ initiatives and their
efforts to advance international justice and human rights in Asia. We, therefore, provide
aggregated and updated information and news on the Coalition’s projects, activities and events.
25 August 2020
Legal Action World held an online panel discussion on Accountability for the Rohingya, marking three years since the 2017 ‘clearance operations’ in northern Rakhine state and displacement of more than 730,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh.
26 August 2020
On 26 August 2020 the Burma Human Rights Network will launch the “NOWHERE TO RUN” Report. The event will be conducted virtually via Zoom starting at 3pm. Speakers for the event include Kyaw Win, Veronica Pedrosa, Htike Htike, dr Habib Ullah, Khin Ohmar and Rachel Fleming. More information and registration to the event is available here, http://www.bhrn.org.uk/en/report/1127-report-launch-press-conference.html.
25-26 August 2020
Centre for Peace and Justice of Brac University in partnership with the Centre for Genocide Studies, University of Dhaka, and ActionAid organised the International e-Conference on Connecting the Rohingya Diaspora: Highlighting the Global Displacement. The e-Conference was held on 25-26 August 2020.
The conference ended with the 2nd Dhaka Declaration, 2020 through which participants of the e-conference appealed to the international community to come forward to ensure safe, dignified, informed and voluntary repatriation of the Rohingya people in Bangladesh. The participants demanded in the declaration that the Rohingya refugee crisis should be solved in a sustainable way and with a regional approach.
The declaration thus appealed to the allies of Myanmar, particularly ASEAN countries, to compel Myanmar to stop persecution against the Rohingyas once and for all. The participants also asked for sufficient humanitarian assistance to the refugees and all sorts of support to ensure protection and rights of all Rohingya people.
The Dhaka Declaration denounced all sorts of latent and manifested acts of genocide against the Rohingya ethnic minority of Myanmar, condemned persecution by the Myanmar state authority and the apathy of the Myanmar government and regional government towards the sufferings of Rohingya people.
The declaration also recognised four provisional measures on the Myanmar government as per the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v Myanmar) case in January 2020.
The provisions included that the government of Myanmar has to prevent genocidal acts and crimes, ensure that the military and other security forces do not commit genocide, preserve evidence of genocidal acts and crimes, report back on its compliance within four months, and then every six months afterwards.
To read more on the e-conference, visit:
27 August 2020
To mark the third anniversary of the Burmese military campaign in Rakhine State that resulted in mass atrocities and displaced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is hosting a virtual event to discuss the current situation of Rohingya Muslims in Burma and in refugee camps in Bangladesh, as well as the pending international lawsuits against the Burmese government. The event will be held on August 27, 2020 at 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada).
USCIRF Vice Chair Anurima Bhargava and Commissioner Nadine Maenza will be joined by U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide Director Naomi Kikoler, USHMM Fellow Wai Wai Nu, and Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK President Tun Khin to discuss recommendations for U.S. policymakers to alleviate the plight of Rohingya refugees and hold Burmese military leaders accountable. To register for the event please visit, https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_s1KygRucQSGvLq0G_G4_tQ
Symposium on The Impact and Implications of International Law: Myanmar and the Rohingya
Asia Justice Coalition and Opinio Juris curated a virtual symposium titled, ‘The Impact and Implications of International Law: Myanmar and the Rohingya.’ The symposium which ran from 24 August to 28 August 2020 marked the three years since the forced exodus of the Rohingya from Myanmar was at its zenith, as a result of international crimes committed in Rakhine state. With close to a million individuals forced to flee to Bangladesh and other countries in the region, August 2017 and the months immediately after marked another step in the pattern of atrocities and waves of displacement, the roots of which are decades old. Since then, there have been reports of civilians killed and ongoing conflict in Rakhine state, that continue even now.
The symposium sought to highlight some implications of international legal proceedings, and the issues that need further examination, strategizing and advocacy. Our contributors in this symposium addressed some fundamental questions, such as the discussion regarding “peace v justice” in the context of Myanmar, where supporting the democratization process seems to have come at the cost of further marginalization of the Rohingya, and a lack of accountability for international crimes. This also necessitates an in-depth look at the domestic legal system and response by Myanmar, to assess more comprehensively the gaps and need for international accountability processes.
To read more, please visit; https://opiniojuris.org/category/symposia/themes/
10 September 2020
The Center for Peace and Justice BRAC University and the Asia Foundation have published a report titled, ‘Navigating the Margins: Family, Mobility and Livelihoods Amongst Rohingya in Bangladesh.’ This report describes the many ways that individuals and families living in refugee camps in Bangladesh cope with hardship and life in displacement. It presents new information on family separation as an additional source of hardship, but also as a source of support through which remittances sometimes flow, and often as a risky but hopeful investment in a better future for those who manage to reach a third country beyond Myanmar and Bangladesh. The study also looks at economic hardship and the coping strategies of refugee households, presenting new evidence on the cost of living in the camps, income sources and indebtedness, remittances, and the equivocal role of dowry payments. It includes data on the gendered implications of displacement, mobility, and economic hardship.
The report makes the following recommendations for supporting Rohingya families in Bangladesh:
Supporting separated families:
Facilitate communication across borders by restoring and improving internet access in the camps and allowing camp residents to use biometric smartcards as identification to purchase and register SIM cards.
Support the documentation of Rohingya-owned assets left in Myanmar.
Improve transparent access to data relevant to the repatriation process.
Use bilateral cooperation to support the reunification of families with members living in countries with active resettlement programs.
Improving well-being and economic resilience:
Expand access to livelihood opportunities for camp residents.
Improve pathways for Rohingya voices to be heard in decisions that affect them.
Improve access to financial services to mitigate debt.
Anticipate the impact of the current economic downturn on access to remittances.
Balance increased livelihood support to refugees by also investing in sustainable development solutions for host communities.
20 October 2020
“Towards Sustainable Justice, Accountability and Returns: The Rohingya Crisis into its Fourth Year”
Executive Director for the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect Dr. Simon Adams and President, Maung Tun Khin of Burmese Rohingya Organization in the UK participated at the high-level meeting under the title, “Towards Sustainable Justice, Accountability and Returns: The Rohingya Crisis into its Fourth Year.” The meeting was co-hosted by high commissions of Bangladesh and Canada in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Secretary-General. BROUK President, Maung Tun Khin, whose grandfather was a member of Myanmar parliament, gave a historic account on how civil, political and social rights were snatched by the military junta of Myanmar. Foreign Minister Dr A. K. Abdul Momen highlighted that ensuring international justice and accountability for the Rohingya people is the call and the cry of the hour under every possible global investigative and accountability mechanism, making the Rohingya crisis truly global.
20 October 2020
‘WOMEN | PEACE | POWER: A Youth Perspective’ on the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325
Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ), Brac University in partnership with UN Women Bangladesh and Naripokkho celebrated the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security through a virtual youth panel event “WOMEN | PEACE | POWER: A Youth Perspective” on Tuesday, 20 October 2020. This is part of a series of events celebrating the WPS agenda in 2020 in Bangladesh. The event brought together young women from diverse backgrounds in Bangladesh, to hear the challenges they face in their communities and their vision of a peaceful society that is inclusive and just.
More information on the event and a recording of the webinar is available here.
22 October 2020
Conference on Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response
The virtual Conference on Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response was held on 22 October 2020. The conference was organized by the Secretary of State of the United States of America, The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, The Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The conference focus on advancing solutions for the Rohingya, and so that they can meanwhile live in dignity wherever they are, hence a focus on more sustainable response planning and financing is needed, in particular in the following four areas: addressing the root causes, maintaining humanitarian assistance, expanding opportunities and investing in host communities. Information on the conference is available here.
23 November 2020
BHRN Launches New Report on Discrimination and Hate Speech in Burma’s Election Campaign
Burma Human Rights Network launched a new report “Free and Fair For Some: Discrimination and Hate Speech in Burma’s General Election Campaign.” The report is based on a months-long investigation into hate speech on social media, discrimination against minority voters, and the disqualification of Muslim candidates on baseless and racist claims against their ancestry. Burma’s general election took place on 8 November 2020.
The report documents 39 cases of hate speech and misinformation on social media by Burmese users. The comments, some of which are shared thousands of times, contain vile accusations against Muslims and largely seek to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi and her NLD party. Similarly, BHRN documented comments from party members and candidates against Muslims that violate Burmese law. On top of all of this, BHRN also documented several instances of violence at campaign events, targeting Muslims or NLD supporters. The full report can be accessed here.
23 November 2020
Preventing Atrocities with a WPS Perspective: A Myanmar Case Study
On 11 November the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and the Global Justice Center hosted a webinar where international experts, advocates and academics discussed how gender permeates every stage of mass atrocity crimes — through the lens of atrocity crimes in Myanmar — and the role gender can play in fulfilling the duty to prevent them.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), as well as the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the UN Secretary-General’s annual report on R2P analyzed where issues related to gender and R2P overlap, from identifying risk factors for atrocity crimes to the prevention and response to such crimes.
As highlighted in the report, gender permeates genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in many ways. The case of Myanmar highlights the value of closely examining the gendered dimensions of a particular situation. As this year’s R2P report reflects, the international community must do more to ensure a holistic, consistent, and gender-inclusive approach to atrocity prevention and response. Please see the webinar recording here.
23 November 2020
BROUK: Special Online Discussion on Burma's Ongoing Political Transition and Key Prospects for International Justice for the Rohingya.
On this online event, international justice experts from around the world will shared an update of the ongoing international justice processes against Burma at the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and in Argentinian courts through a Universal Jurisdiction case, and give insight on how the international community could work to hold the newly elected Burmese government more accountable in uplifting the rights and security of Rohingya people during the country’s ongoing political transition.
You can follow the event here.