Mike Noyes, Deputy Director of Humanitarian Policy and Practice at ActionAid UK, responds to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s (FAC) report on violence in Rakhine State and the UK’s response.
As the crisis continues to unfold in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, this report from the FAC lays out important recommendations for UK Government to take vital steps forward in its response, both in Rakhine State in Myanmar, and Bangladesh. The UK Government can be proud to be the largest donor to the crisis, while this report brings to bear the scrutiny needed to ensure the UK response is as effective as possible.
As one of the first and largest agencies to respond to this crisis, our colleagues in ActionAid Bangladesh and others in the country have repeatedly reported the particularly sexually violent nature of this crisis. In our work with women in the camps in Bangladesh, we support survivors to overcome the trauma of the situations they have faced, while also helping to meet their immediate practical and material needs. Perpetrators of gender-based violence and atrocity crimes must be held to account. We welcome the report’s call for better, more systematic support from the UK to gather evidence and prepare for future legal proceedings in that regard.
We also welcome the report’s recommendation that the UK government must not support any deal on the return of Rohingya people to Myanmar until sufficient safeguards have been met, including humanitarian access to Rakhine state and detailed plans for implementing the Rakhine Advisory Commission Report. It is paramount that the UK should reject any repatriation which is not both voluntary and safe.
See the full FAC report here.
You can read about ActionAid’s work in Cox’s Bazar here.