The Conveniently Forgotten Human Rights of the Rohingya

By Brinham, Natalie | Forced Migration Review, December 2012 | Go to article overview

The Conveniently Forgotten Human Rights of the Rohingya


Brinham, Natalie, Forced Migration Review


As stateless Rohingya in Burma face containment in IDP camps and within their homes and communities in what is effectively segregation, their human rights are on the whole being ignored by countries keen either to support reform in Burma or to return refugees who have fled to their shores.

It is no coincidence that the current crisis in Rakhine State in Burma has taken place against the back-drop of Burma's widely hailed, yet still fragile, democratic reform process, the beginnings of which were marked by the elections of 2010. The toxic mix of general racism and an illiberal ex-military government seeking domestic support and democratic legitimacy has proved lethal to the rights of the stateless Rohingya in Burma.

The 1982 Citizenship Law of Myanmar, which ignored the Rohingya's claim to citizenship and thus rendered them stateless, has formed the legal basis for arbitrary and discriminatory treatment against the Rohingya community and made them subject to a series of draconian policies and controls.1 In June 2012, large-scale violence against the Rohingya - a stateless Muslim ethnic minority of around one million people - resulted in estimated thousands of deaths, the forced displacement of over 100,000 people, and the burning and destruction of homes and property throughout Rakhine State.2 At the time of writing there continue to be outbreaks of violence, arbitrary arrests of Rohingya men whose whereabouts remain unknown, and torture and death in custody.

Since June, Rohingya have been largely segregated from the other populations in order to create 'Muslimfree' areas. Some have been 'burnt out' through the destruction of their homes and properties. Others have been relocated by government troops to IDP camps. Only Muslim populations have been moved by the security forces; their displacement is thus discriminatory rather than protective. Those who were not displaced have been cut off from their livelihoods and face difficulty in accessing food and basic services. Further violence in October, which targeted Rohingya and other Muslim minorities throughout Rakhine State, resulted in the whole and partial destruction of Muslim areas and displacement of a further 36,000 people.3 Cut off from their livelihoods and sources of income, unable to access markets, hospitals and schools, and without access to relief aid, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya are facing disaster.4 The government maintains tight control over international agencies working in North Rakhine State, leaving little space for these agencies to engage in public advocacy on behalf of the affected population, let alone raise human rights concerns.

Recent events in Rakhine State should not be viewed in isolation; the Burma security forces have a long history of discrimination and systematic human rights abuses against them. President Thein Sein's remarks in July 2012 that the "only solution"5 to the troubles in Rakhine State was either to send stateless Rohingya to third countries or to contain them in UNHCR-administered camps caused outrage within the international human rights community. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Conveniently Forgotten Human Rights of the Rohingya
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.