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Myanmar Fact-Finding Mission report is 'final proof' that world must act

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18 September, 2018 – Save the Children welcomes the findings and recommendations of the full report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, released today, following the publication of the preliminary findings in August. Save the Children is one of the leading International NGOs in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, having reached 350,000 children since the start of the crisis.

The full report finds there were consistent patterns of serious human rights violations and abuses in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States, in addition to serious violations of international humanitarian law. These were “principally committed by the Myanmar security forces, particularly the military”.

It identifies common characteristics of the Myanmar military in their operations across Myanmar, including Rakhine state, such as the targeting of civilians, sexual violence, discriminatory rhetoric, a command climate and impunity.

It also further details grave violations committed against Rohingya people when they fled Myanmar in August and September last year.

Among dozens of recommendations, the report calls for named senior generals of the Myanmar military to be investigated and prosecuted in an international criminal tribunal for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

It also recommends greater action in establishing an independent mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011, and prepare files for independent criminal proceedings in accordance with international law standards.

Save the Children’s Senior Conflict Advocacy Adviser Mark Kaye said:

“Our teams in Cox’s Bazar are working round the clock to help Rohingya refugee children recover from the traumatic experiences they’ve been through.

“This report provides the final proof that the world must also take action. It shows clearly that the actions and atrocities committed by the Myanmar military cannot be dismissed as the response to terrorist attacks but rather as the culmination of a foreseeable, planned, and enduring catastrophe which requires an international response.”

“Rohingya families tell us that their children’s futures depend not just on support to rebuild their lives, but on justice for the crimes against them. Today’s report can and must be a vital step to achieving that.”

“The full report reinforces the preliminary findings released three weeks ago, and makes a powerful case for the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court without delay. Save the Children supports this recommendation.

“Going forward, there must be a move towards investigations for prosecution in order to ensure accountability, which is crucial to achieving justice for those who have suffered at the hands of the Myanmar military and other groups.

On 18th September Save the Children campaigners handed in a petition signed by 45,000 people calling on the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to ensure the UK uses its responsibility as penholder for Myanmar at the UN Security Council to refer the Myanmar military to the International Criminal Court.

Campaigners stood outside the Foreign Commonwealth office with a banner stating “Over 45,000 say the UK Government must demand justice for Rohingya children

Mr Kaye said any investigations would need to incorporate child-specific expertise to ensure children were not re-traumatised while giving evidence:

“A large number of children have been subjected to and witnessed some of the most serious human rights violations in Myanmar, including killing, maiming and sexual violence, crimes which will require specific expertise to investigate.”

“Children have suffered enormously and should be supported to prevent re-traumatization. Special skills will most certainly be needed to support children to give evidence in any future proceedings.”

The full report comes after preliminary findings were released on August 27.

ENDS

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