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Menendez, Kirk Introduce Resolution Expressing U.S. Concern for Rights of Muslim Rohingya in Burma And Southeast Asia

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was joined by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) today in introducing a resolution condemning all forms of persecution and discrimination against the Muslim Rohingya ethnic group in Burma, and calling on the regional governments to protect the rights of Rohingya refugees.

The bipartisan resolution addresses the plight of the Rohingya in Burma as they confront a dire humanitarian situation, targeted ethnic violence, and government policies that render them stateless and vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking. 

“With this resolution, members of the United States Senate express their grave concern about the humanitarian and human rights crisis facing the Rohingya in Burma, Bangladesh, Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia,” said Senator Menendez. “The Burmese government must account for its total failure to provide the most basic protections to the Rohingya who have been subjected to a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Today, we call on all of the governments of the region -- many of whom are tacitly allowing the inhumane treatment of the Rohingya -- to take necessary measures to end the discrimination, exploitation and abuse of the Rohingya and to respect their fundamental human rights.”

"Rohingya Muslims in Burma have suffered discrimination and persecution at the hands of the Burmese government for too long, and the international community cannot continue to over look these blatant human rights violations," Senator Kirk said. "The United States needs to reaffirm its commitment to real reform in Burma by speaking out against these atrocities."

A copy of the resolution is available here and it resolves that the Senate:

  • Calls on the Government of Burma to end all forms of persecution and discrimination, including freedom of movement restrictions, of the Rohingya and ensure respect for internationally recognized human rights for all ethnic and religious minority groups within Burma;
  • Calls on the Government of Burma to allow unrestricted humanitarian access by international organizations to all in need, without discrimination based on ethnicity religious belief, or political opinion;
  • Calls on the governments of the region to develop a comprehensive solution to protect the rights of Rohingya asylees and refugees