Rohingya refugees in a camp in Bangladesh, 2017. Photo credit: Zlatica Hoke (VOA)

The following resolution was adopted by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers Council meeting on 25 October 2020: 

IADL RESOLUTION OF CONCERN ABOUT DELAYED REPATRIATION OF ROHINGYA REFUGEES

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) is a non-governmental organization with consultative status in ECOSOC and UNESCO. Founded in 1946 to promote the goals of the United Nations Charter, IADL and its affiliated organizations throughout the world have consistently fought to uphold international law, promote human rights and address threats to international peace and security. From its inception, IADL members have protested racism, colonialism, and economic and political injustice wherever they occur.

The IADL expresses its serious concern about the repeated delays in the repatriation process for Rohingya refugees to their homeland, Myanmar, from where they are currently taking shelter in Bangladesh.

The IADL has been following the issue of the displacement of the Rohingya from Rakhine province since the issue of their forcible removal by the Myanmar military came to light.  We have also followed the efforts to resolve the issue of the repatriation of the refugees as well as the repeated delays that have hindered this process.  The IADL has expressed its strongest condemnation of the mass killings and crimes against humanity committed by the Myanmar army.  IADL has also expressed its serious disappointment and frustration at the failure of the international community to take substantive action against the Myanmar army and government, including holding those responsible accountable before the International Criminal Court.

During the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are over 10 million Rohingya refugees sheltered in Bangladesh, where they face a serious lack of access to health care and medical facilities and other breaches of their fundamental human rights.

Furthermore, the military junta in Myanmar has ignored the calls of the United Nations and the ruling of the International Court of Justice and has failed to facilitate the repatriation of Rohingya refugees. IADL has received credible reports of continuing persecution of the Rohingya community as well as the ongoing delay in receiving refugees back to their homeland.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) submitted a list of 8,000,040 Rohingya people to the government of Myanmar in order for their return home to be expedited. However, the government of Myanmar continued to delay and has not responded positively to this initiative, leaving Rohingya refugees displaced and in danger.

The IADL urges that the UN take all diplomatic measures to expedite a speedy process to stop ongoing crimes against humanity against the Rohingya community, implement the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, and protect the right to life of the Rohingya people.

25 October 2020