CUPE along with other Canadian civil society organizations and individuals have released a statement on the latest wave of military violence against Rohingya civilians in northwestern Myanmar.
The Rohingya are often described as “the world’s most persecuted minority.” They are an ethnic group, majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. There are over 1 million Rohingya living in this Southeast Asian country.
The Myanmar military is inflicting collective, disproportionate, and illegal punishment on Rohingya civilians following attacks against several police and military installations on August 25, 2017 by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. These attacks were used as an excuse for the army to systematically attack and burn Rohingya villages, raping and murdering civilians in the process.
This latest violence follows attacks in October 2016, when the military attacked dozens of villages, killing an untold number and displacing more than 80,000 people. Now hundreds of thousands more have been displaced. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that since August 25, 2017, about 410,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violence in their native Myanmar for refugee camps in Bangladesh.
CUPE along with other civil society groups will continue to monitor the situation, and urge the Canadian government to continue deepening its action on this worsening humanitarian crisis.