the Rohingya cause
According to the UN, the Rohingya are the most persecuted people today. They are facing state-sponsored persecution as well as various forms of human rights violations:
- extrajudicial killings
- sexual violence - 52% of Rohingya women refugees interviewed by the UN reported being victims of sexual violence and rape; the actual number is likely much higher
- destruction of property
- government shelling and airstrikes
Since 2012, hundreds of thousands have been displaced either in Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps in Burma or in squalid, unregistered refugee camps in surrounding countries, predominantly in Bangladesh.
United Nation’s OHCHR reported mass killings of various kinds which have been
carried out by Burmese military personnel against Rohingya men, women and children [OHCHR’s mission to Bangladesh, Flash Report, Feb 3rd, 2017].
(HRW reports “New analysis of satellite imagery from Burma’s Rakhine State shows the near total destruction of 288* villages […] They show the destruction of tens of thousands of homes across Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships, part of the Burmese security forces’ campaign of ethnic cleansing” [HRW, Burma: Satellite Imagery Shows Mass Destruction, Sep 19th, 2017 (*Number updated Oct 17th)]
(In Bangladesh’s camps, currently 900,000 Rohingya “Refugees are crowded into muddy camps where they face a risk of disease in the (due to) unsanitary conditions. (says the) The World Health Organization Bangladesh over the previous week, raising concerns about the threat of deadly cholera.” [NY Times, Rohingya Refugees Fleeing Myanmar Await Entrance to Squalid Camps, Oct 18th, 2017)
What If It Was You?
The Rohingya had once lived like you and me, they were citizens in their ancestral homeland, like any other ethnicity in Myanmar, & enjoyed citizenship & all the perks that came with it. They were teachers, doctors, they were part of the police force, they served in the military, they had radio shows broadcasted, they voted, & held elected positions in government. However, things changed after the 1982 Citizenship law was passed. It was followed by a genocidal campaign at the hands of the government & military that is supposed to be protecting them; mass rape, murder, & forced exodus.
Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine your whole world is taken away, your family put in danger, & every aspect of your life is restricted.
Although the situation continues to get worse, there is real hope in the near future. With your help & BTF having a full-time staff dedicated exclusively to stop the Rohingya genocide, the Canadian government has taken powerful steps to stand for the Rohingya, emerging as a global leader for their cause.
This work could have only been possible through the financial & active support of the community as well as being able to dedicate time to influencing policymakers, researching, educating Canadians, & making sure the Rohingya story is portrayed accurately in the media.
We have come so far! And now, more than ever, we need your support to continue on the momentum that we all have created!
This is why we have named this campaign "What if it was you?" We are blessed to live in Canada. The Rohingya's voice has been taken away but we, in Canada, can raise our voices for them. We can stand up for them! We are all Rohingya!
(Some 140,000 people, mainly Rohingya, have been trapped in grim displacement camps "(Imagine if this was your child- "Getty Images")
Put pressure on the Canadian government to stop genocide
On the ground documentation of atrocities
1: Stop genocide of the Rohingya
2: Return citizenship to the Rohingya
3: Hold perpetrators accountable
4: Reparations for Rohingya losses
What Canada Must Do
Our Government Relations have resulted in:
A: Minister Freeland calling it ethnic cleansing, declared that Crimes Against Humanity have & are happening, & said "acts of genocide appear to be happening" the next step is to declare what the Rohingya are facing at the hands of Myanmar what it is, a GENOCIDE!
B: Targetted sanctions being placed on the genocide mastermind Maj.-Gen. Maung Maung Soe. More targetted sanctions are coming but we need Canada to impose FULL sanctions minus food & medicine
C: Canada making sure that when the Rohingya return to their ancestral homeland they return voluntarily, in dignity, & security. Canada must also support Sheikh Hasina's request that the Rohingya are protected in a safe area by international monitors.
As a result of your dedication and the hard work of the BTF Staff and volunteers, the Canadian government:
Matched $12.5 million in donations and has dedicated $50 million to the Rohingya cause.
Has announced a 300 million dollar assistance and development program over the next three years.
The Prime Minister and Global Affairs have strongly condemned Aung San Suu Kyi and the violence perpetrated by the military.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also imposed sanctions on Major General Maung Maung Soe of the Burmese military.
Successfully tabled the Rohingya crisis on to the G7 members 2018 agenda.
Signed More than 20 organization to our coalition
GOVERNMENT ENGAGEMENT TO STOP GENOCIDE
- Testified at the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (SDIR) multiple times
- Testified before Canada's Standing Committee on Human Rights.
- Meeting with Bob Rae, Special Envoy to Myanmar to outline our expectations of the Canadian Government.
- BTF testified before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE).
- Co-chairing Experts' Roundtable on the Rohingya Crisis
- Daily & weekly engagement with all levels of government; federal, provincial, & municipal
- Ensuring that Rohingya concerns are taken into consideration in all relevant foreign policy processes
(Ahmed Ramadan (Right) from Burma Task Force and Farida Deif from Human Right Watch speak at the press conference on April 17. Photo by Sandra Gasana/Inter Peres)
(On September 16, at a rally organized by Burma Task Force, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told demonstrators the persecution of Rohingya “looks a lot like ethnic cleansing.” On September 18, Prime Minister Trudeau, wrote to Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi condemning her “silence in the face of the brutal oppression of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim people.)
September 28th: The Executive Director, Ahmed Ramadan updated the Canadian Parliament on Myanmar’s genocidal policies against the Rohingya minority)
(Presentation to the Government Human Rights Subcommittee at Centre Block in Ottawa, April 4th, 2017)
BTF organized a number of initiatives to raise awareness among the interfaith community and the general public. Community outreach events included:
- "Horror and Hate: Persecution of the Rohingya" Photo Exhibit and Lecture. BTF hosted an information session and photo exhibit titled “Horror and Hate: Persecution of the Rohingya” at Mississauga Central Library’s Noel Ryan Auditorium. As part of a collaborative effort with Canadians in Support of Refugees in Dire Need (CSRDN),
- "Beyond the Talk: What will it take to End Rohingya Genocide" at Maple Banquet Hall in Mississauga, Ontario. We highlighted the importance of advocacy, education, and building strategic relationships are vital for stopping the Rohingya genocide.
- Presence in all major events distributing information & educating Canadians
- Take Action Now! Combat Exploitation At Home & Abroad; Panel [email redacted]
- "Rohingya Crisis; A Critical Discussion" Action Based Panel @ Jaffari Community Centre.
( Burma Task Force Outreach Coordinator Mohammed Jalabi invited as guest Speaker at Studio.89)
(Outreach Coordinator Sluiaman Ayoubi At Healing and Mercy Conference by Islamic Centre of Cambridge.)
(#Activist and #writer @lsarsour gives a message about Burma Task Force)
What else has Burma Task Force Canada been up to?
> Distribution of educational materials across the GTA and other cities in Canada
> Presentations and educational seminars at universities and organizations
> Research papers & Memos
> Meetings with MP's and other government officials
> Action Alerts, mobilizing the community to give a voice to the voiceless Rohingya
> Social Media presence
> Producing YouTube Videos
> Building a coalition through organizations and the interfaith community
> Refugee camp interviews of genocide survivors & documentation
> Rape Victim rehabilitation
> And much more!
This Ramadan, DO NOT FORGET the MOST HELPLESS and NEGLECTED People of the World in your Zakat and Sadaqa!
Burma Task Force, a project of Task Force on Peace and Justice Canada, a not-for-profit organization, is a leading voice of a coalition of organizations with the aim of ending the Rohingya Genocide and return citizenship to the stateless with the help of our volunteers, members, and government
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Burma Task Force Canada
Mississauga , ON