International Community Unites to Address Human Rights Crisis in Myanmar
East and South Asia Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
The ongoing crisis in Myanmar, stemming from the military coup in February 2021, has captured the world's attention and ignited a collective call for urgent action. Representatives from both major political parties in the United States have come together to address this dire situation and rally international support to end the suffering of the people of Myanmar (Alarabiya News, 14 September 2023; Ingyin Naing, 15 September 2023). Additionally, UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews has urged the United States to join the European Union in imposing sanctions on the junta's primary revenue source, the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, as a means to cut off funding for their atrocities (Alarabiya News, 14 September 2023). As the crisis continues, it has become increasingly clear that the violations committed by the military junta constitute a grave human rights issue that demands immediate attention and intervention.
Since the coup, the military junta has inflicted immense suffering on the people of Myanmar. According to estimates, more than 3,900 civilians have lost their lives at the hands of the military (Alarabiya News, 14 September 2023). Furthermore, millions of Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar have faced the risk of reduced support from international donors, including the United States, with funding for crucial humanitarian assistance remaining critically low (Alarabiya News, 14 September 2023). The situation in Myanmar remains dire, with ongoing violence, displacement, and a looming humanitarian crisis.
The crisis in Myanmar is undeniably a severe human rights issue. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various international conventions set out provisions that Myanmar is bound to uphold. These provisions include the right to life, liberty, and security of person, as well as the right to seek asylum from persecution (Ingyin Naing, 15 September 2023). The military junta's actions, characterized by violence, repression, and the denial of basic rights and freedoms, represent a blatant violation of these principles.
Moreover, the plight of the Rohingya community underscores the severity of this human rights crisis. The international community, including the United States, must ensure that the genocide and persecution experienced by the Rohingya people are not forgotten (Ingyin Naing, 15 September 2023). It is imperative to keep this crisis at the forefront of international discussions, as it directly impacts the lives and well-being of countless individuals.
In conclusion, the situation in Myanmar is a pressing human rights issue that demands immediate action. Representatives from both sides of the political spectrum in the United States have emphasized the need for a more aggressive international response, including stricter sanctions on the military junta (Ingyin Naing, 15 September 2023). Additionally, UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews has urged the United States to join the European Union in imposing sanctions on the junta's primary revenue source, the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, as a means to cut off funding for their atrocities (Alarabiya News, 14 September 2023).
It is crucial for the international community to work collectively to address this crisis, provide humanitarian aid, and support efforts to restore democracy in Myanmar. The suffering of innocent civilians, including the Rohingya community, should not go unnoticed or unaddressed.
Alarabiya News. (14 September 2023). UN human rights expert urges stronger US sanctions on Myanmar military. Availability https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2023/09/14/UN-human-rights-expert-urges-stronger-US-sanctions-on-Myanmar-military.
Ingyin Naing. (15 September 2023). US Lawmakers Stress Need for Pressure on Myanmar to End Rights Crisis. VOA. Available at https://www.voanews.com/a/us-lawmakers-stress-need-for-pressure-on-myanmar-to-end-rights-crisis-/7270594.html.