December 11, 2020

Joint Statement                                                                      

The British government must join ICJ Rohingya genocide case against Myanmar

We, the undersigned Rohingya organisations, are calling on the British government to urgently join the genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. It is now clear that the Myanmar government has no intention of following the Provisional Measures set out by the court. More pressure from the international community is needed to end the ongoing genocide, and to assure accountability for the gravest of international crimes.

It is just over a year since the historic proceedings against Myanmar at the ICJ started. The case is brought by the Gambia, and Myanmar stands accused of breaching the Genocide Convention. It is the first time ever that Myanmar has been held accountable for its crimes. The proceedings at ICJ have been welcomed by many groups who have long suffered under Myanmar government oppression and Myanmar army attacks, not just us Rohingya. We all know that there is no justice for us under the national judicial system in Myanmar.

On 23 January 2020, 17 judges unanimously decided to impose provisional measures on Myanmar, in order to halt the ongoing abuses against the Rohingya and to preserve evidence, while the court proceedings continue. These proceedings can take years to conclude. Since then, the Myanmar government has been requested to report to the court twice, to show that they are complying with these provisional measures. These reports have not been made public.

The Myanmar government is not implementing or following the provisional measures, and that the genocide against the Rohingya is ongoing. If the international community does not urgently increase its pressure on the Myanmar government, more Rohingya lives will be lost.

In September, the Netherlands and Canada said they were planning to make a formal intervention in the case. We now urge the British government to also throw its weight behind the case. We are convinced, due to the history of British government support for human rights in Myanmar and the position of the United Kingdom internationally, that this would substantially add pressure on the Myanmar government, help ensure accountability and prevent new crimes in Myanmar.

The British government also has specific expertise to offer, not least its expertise through the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) programme. As the “penholder” on Myanmar at the UN Security Council, an intervention by the British government would add significant weight to the case.

The United Kingdom has long led the world in promoting and defending human rights in Myanmar. Now is not the time to abandon that position. It is time to step up.

Additional Information:

BROUK report, Dereliction of Duty, November 23 2020.

BROUK report, A Continuing Genocide, May 24 2020.


1.    Arakan Rohingya Development Association – Australia

2.    Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)

3.    Arakan Rohingya National Union (ARNU)

4.    Arakan Rohingya Society and Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH)

5.    Australian Burmese Rohingya Organisation 

6.    British Rohingya Community in UK

7.    Burmese Rohingya Association in Queensland-Australia (BRAQA)

8.    Burmese Rohingya Association Japan (BRAJ)

9.    Burmese Rohingya Community Australia (BRCA)

10. Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark

11. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK)

12. Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organisation

13. Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative

14. European Rohingya Council (ERC)

15. Free Rohingya Coalition (FRC)

16. Los Angeles Rohingya Association 

17. Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation in Malaysia 

18. Rohingya Action Ireland 

19. Rohingya American Society

20. Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee

21. Rohingya Association of Canada

22. Rohingya Community in Netherlands

23. Rohingya Community in Norway

24. Rohingya Culture Centre Chicago

25. Rohingya Human Rights Initiative 

26. Rohingya Organisation Norway

27. Rohingya Refugee Network 

28. Rohingya Student Network

29. Rohingya Student Union

30. Rohingya Women Development Network (RDWN)

31. Rohingya Women for Justice and Peace (RWJP)

32. Rohingya Women Welfare Association (RWWS)

33. Rohingya Women’s Empowerment and Advocacy Network (RWEAN)

34. Rohingya Youth Association

35. Rohingya Youth for Legal Action 

36. Swedish Rohingya Association

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