Hague Conclave

On 18 October 2019, the Centre for Peace and Justice, Brac University, (CPJ), the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Asia Justice Coalition (AJC) convened an International Conclave on Justice and Accountability for Rohingya in The Hague.

During this event, global experts provided updates on the status of justice and accountability efforts for the Rohingya, as well as offered nuanced insights into the root causes of the crisis and the multiple political and social components needed to forge a durable solution. Notably, The Gambian Justice Minister Abubacarr Marie Tambadou announced that on 4 October 2019, he had instructed his government’s lawyers to file a case against Myanmar before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for breaches of the Genocide Convention. Minister Tambadou reflected on the need for not only individual but state accountability to secure justice for the Rohingya.

Mr. Bob Rae, Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar also spoke about the need to secure justice for the Rohingya as an ongoing social and political process that transcends purely legal avenues. Mr. Rae noted that while there is a need to hold Myanmar accountable for its crimes against the Rohingya, this in itself is insufficient. This must happen in tandem with the provision of education in Rohingya refugee camps, humanitarian access, protection of refugees’ rights, and the participation of Rohingya in processes towards sustainable solutions.

Other speakers and participants included the Bangladesh Ambassador and other senior officials of the diplomatic corps, Professor Vincent Chang (Vice Chancellor, Brac University), Professor Inge Hutter (Rector, ISS), Professor Syed Mansoob Murshed (Professor, ISS), Mr. Manzoor Hasan (Executive Director, CPJ), Dr. Priya Pillai (Head, Asia Justice Coalition Secretariat), and Mr. Biraj Patnaik (Director for South Asia, Amnesty International).

Main Themes and Objectives

The Conclave addressed three main thematic areas related to the multifaceted challenges involved in securing justice and accountability for the Rohingya and other components necessary for the realization of sustainable solutions.

I. The Rohingya Crisis and Myanmar’s Social and Political Landscape

The first thematic area aimed to build awareness on the current situation in Myanmar and the massive challenges involved in overcoming the Myanmar military’s impunity, the neglect of the country’s development and governance, and how this particularly impacts ethnic Rohingya.

II. Justice and Accountability

The second thematic area provided an update on current justice and accountability mechanisms and surveyed the efficiency and sustainability of these ongoing processes.

III. Toward Sustainable Solutions: Multi-faceted Engagements for Concrete Action

The third thematic area examined the impacts of the crisis on different levels, including the host community, Myanmar civil society at large, ASEAN, and the broader geopolitical context. Speakers also proposed forward-looking solutions and related policy considerations.

The contributions made at the Conclave have been well-documented and have influenced some of the work that the Coalition and its members are doing. The full report is available here.