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National Verification Cards A Barrier to Rohingya Repatriation

 Category: Reports  Publisher: Burma Human Rights Network  Published: 1 July 2019  Tags: Myanmar MilitaryNVC CardRohingyaRohingya Ethnicity |  Download


● BHRN interviewed 18 Rohingyas – 5 from Buthidaung, 6 from Maungdaw and 7 from Ratheadaung about the extensive documentation the Burmese authorities have of Rohingya who lived in Northern Rakhine State since the 1990s as part of an annual survey conducted by authorities called “SweTinSit.”

● BHRN also interviewed 7 Rohingya still living inside of Burma, both with and without National Verification Cards, about how the identification system has affected their day to day lives and the pressures they were under to accept them.

● More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since August 2017.

● More than 120,000 Rohingya are confined to camps within Myanmar with no ability to freely leave.

● Burma’s citizenship system is based on ethnicity and full rights accrue to members of an ethnic group accepted as having been resident in Burma prior to 1823.

● Burma’s authorities refuse to accept evidence of Rohingya residency in Burma before 1823, or to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Rohingya identity and do not allow the Rohingya name to appear on identity documents.

● Rohingya were citizens of Burma since 1948, but the 1982 citizenship law led to a denial of their citizenship rights. In 1991, Rohingya received ‘White Cards’ as a temporary identification and then in 2015 ‘White Cards’ were abolished and the Rohingya received a paper receipt in return as an evidence when they handed them in to authorities.

● Burma’s authorities have made any Rohingya repatriation conditional on Rohingya participation in the National Verification Cards (NVC) scheme.

● NVCs deny Rohingya their right to self-identify as Rohingya.

● Current NVC holders in Rakhine State are still victims of human rights abuse including tight restrictions on their ability to freely travel.

● NVCs are a key instrument of Burmese’s apartheid system in Rakhine State.

● NVCs must not be a condition for Rohingya repatriation to their homes in Burma.