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Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugees: The Search For Human Security

 Category: Reports  Publisher: Linda Crossman  Published: 29 September 2014  Download


The aim of this thesis is to analyze the human rights violations against one minority group in Myanmar – the Rohingya – by the majority Buddhist Rakhinese population with central government support, in order to call the international community to pursue immediate, cohesive diplomatic action to address this humanitarian crisis in Rakhine state. The scope of this thesis, which is organized in five chapters, focuses on the early 21 century from 2000 – 2014, but it includes earlier background information on Myanmar and the plight of the Rohingya. This thesis includes a Preface, which contains maps and images of Myanmar and its people, for the benefit of the reader.

Chapter I, “Background Information on the Ethnic and Religious Conflict,” sets the stage for understanding this problem from pre-colonial times to 1999. Chapter II, “Evidence of Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide Against the Rohingya in Myanmar,” examines the implicit government policies from 2000 – 2014 that target the Rohingya for extermination. This chapter analyzes Myanmar’s political, economic, and socio- cultural intolerance for the Rohingya that have left them stateless and forced them to flee Myanmar for security in neighboring states like Bangladesh, Thailand, and Malaysia. Chapter III, “Responsibility to Protect the Rohingya,” challenges the international community, consisting of the United States (US), European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to pursue all peaceful means available to end the abuse of the Rohingya under the international norm of the responsibility to protect (RtoP). Chapter IV, “A Recommended Peacebuilding Plan for Ending the Plight of the Rohingya,” identifies possible paths for integrating the Rohingya politically, economically, and socio-culturally into the fabric of Myanmar society as citizens of the country, with protection from different forms of persecution. Chapter V, “Conclusion,” stresses that reconciliation with the Muslim Rohingya will pave the way for more peaceful relations between Myanmar’s majority Buddhist population and its diverse minority ethnic and religious groups. Without peaceful relations with these minority groups, like the Rohingya, Myanmar’s tenuous transition to democracy will not fully succeed.