Help Rohingya Refugees
Our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people and many others who are suffering in Bangladesh and Rakhine. In addition to the estimated 680,000 refugees who have recently fled into Bangladesh, an unknown number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are now in Rakhine State. There are also more than 679,000 IDPs in other areas in Myanmar, approximately 103,000 refugees in camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border, and hundreds of thousands of unregistered migrants and displaced people who have fled conflict.
Partners Asia’s long-term partner in Bangladesh has worked in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar for the last seven years and has the infrastructure to respond immediately and effectively, with food, shelter, water, sanitation, safe spaces for children, and basic sustenance. Starting in January, they will focus on longer-term needs, particularly for new arrival children in the areas of education and health care. We have raised $50,000 from your generosity so far, and hope to contribute more. Thousands of refugees are arriving daily and the needs are critical.
As this devastating humanitarian crisis unfolds, another crisis is developing – one that is not well understood. Under Myanmar’s current constitution, the military operates independent of Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian-led government, and launched the recent attacks against Rohingya civilians using the pretext of searching for militants. Added to this complexity is a constitutional clause that empowers the military to legally dissolve the civilian government if it judges the country to be on the verge of disorder.
Our grantee Progressive Voice is actively advocating for the Rohingya and many other ethnic minorities – ensuring information and voices from the ground are brought into the international discourse. Khin Ohmar, who serves on our Advisory Council, is connecting marginalized communities to United Nations Human Rights mechanisms, including the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner and UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar. Ohmar testifies at the UN Human Rights Council Sessions and is mentoring the next generation of leaders.
Partners Asia has supported the most marginalized people in Myanmar and along the borders for 30 years, and we will continue to be responsive to the changing political environment. Our commitment is to back up our partners and support efforts for peace. Our experience and strong on-the-ground networks mean we can respond quickly and make meaningful differences. Please help those most in need. Thank you.
To learn more about the Rohingya crisis and its long-term implications for Myanmar, we recommend listening to this in-depth conversation filmed by the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School.
Tarek Zeidan, HKS ’18, moderated the discussion between Yee Htun, clinical instructor and former director of the Myanmar Program for Justice Trust, and Tyler Giannini, Human Rights Program’s co-director and co-founder of EarthRights International, who worked on the Thai-Burmese border for a decade.