April 18, 2015

A report by ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)

In April 2015, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), an organization of members of parliament from several ASEAN countries, conducted a fact-finding mission in Myanmar. APHR is deeply concerned about the current dynamics there and how they affect the region and the broader global community. APHR is equally concerned with the failure of ASEAN nations to adequately respond.

Critical national elections in Myanmar are slated for the end of 2015. APHR has found an alarmingly high risk of atrocities against Rohingya, other Muslims, and other ethnic minority groups in the lead up to the election. These risks constitute a regional concern, not only due to potential cross-border spillover effects, but also because ASEAN member states share a moral responsibility to take all possible measures to prevent the commission of atrocities within ASEAN.

Despite these troubling realities, the Rohingya issue remains conspicuously absent from the agenda of the ASEAN Summit. ASEAN and other global leaders ignore these dynamics at their own peril. The Rohingya crisis and broader animosity toward other Muslims and ethnic minorities in Myanmar are not just a Myanmar problem—they are an ASEAN problem.

Nearly every common risk factor for atrocity crimes identified in the United Nations’ Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes is present in Myanmar today. This report draws upon APHR’s collective knowledge to analyze the situation in Myanmar within the context of this United Nations’ Framework. Based on this analysis, it is clear that there is a high risk of ongoing atrocity crimes in Myanmar in 2015 and beyond.

The report represents a call to action. It demonstrates that the escalating human rights crisis in Myanmar and Southeast Asia more broadly is exacerbated by the failure of ASEAN to take effective action.

Download this report


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