Dear Foreign Secretary,
The crisis in Rakhine State, Myanmar, is taking an appalling toll on children. Indiscriminate attacks by the Myanmar military have killed and maimed thousands. Children have been burned alive in their homes, and girls as young as five have been targeted for brutal sexual violence. These appalling mass atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingya include grave violations against children in armed conflict.
Although Myanmar has stated that it will investigate allegations and prosecute alleged perpetrators, actions taken to date by the government and the military suggest that there is no real commitment to hold those guilty of atrocities accountable.
Recently Myanmar announced it is launching a national Commission of Inquiry. But given Myanmar’s longstanding culture of impunity it is simply unthinkable that this Commission will meet minimal standards of credibility or impartiality.
What has occurred in Rakhine State is one of the worst atrocities of the 21st Century. Extraordinary crimes demand an extraordinary response. Currently, the International Criminal Court is the only real hope for victims to see justice.
We welcome the steps the UK government has taken to support the humanitarian refugee crisis in Cox’s Bazar and its diplomatic efforts to try and end the crisis. But the UK can and must do more.
The UK Government, as the penholder for Myanmar at the United Nations Security Council, must use its power and influence in bringing perpetrators to justice through the International Criminal Court. Therefore, I am calling on you to:
- Draft a resolution that includes text which refers the situation in Northern Rakhine State to the International Criminal Court so alleged atrocities committed by the Myanmar military and all other parties can be investigated.