The Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar: Past, Present, and Future
Oregon Review of International Law (2014 Forthcoming)
19 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2013 Last revised: 22 Feb 2014
Date Written: May 1, 2013
The United Nations has long characterized Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims as one of the world's most persecuted minorities. Recently escalating violence and increasing discrimination - encompassing restrictions on religious freedom, lethal use of force, forced displacement and denial of equal citizenship rights - has not only exasperated the humanitarian crises confronting the Rohingya Muslims but also threatens to undermine the Burmese transition from one-party military rule to democratic governance. It adversely impacts global security, too. This essay examines the Rohingya Muslim experience historically, but perhaps more significantly through a contemporary humanitarian and human rights lens as well. It begins with a brief history of the Rohingya Muslims in post-colonial Myanmar and thereafter analyzes contemporary humanitarian developments. It explores several key human rights abuses perpetrated against the group while also discussing realities surrounding United States policy on Myanmar. Significantly, the piece concludes with concrete policy recommendations.
Keywords: Human Rights, International Religious Freedom Act, United Nations Guiding Principles on Displacement, United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Freedom of
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