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The deplorable condition of ethnic minorities in Myanmar has further deteriorated in recent years and Myanmar’s ongoing transition to democracy has been imperiled by ethnic conflict, pervasive religious discrimination, and other recurrent human rights abuses.

Once a thriving hub for trade and a major agricultural producer, the State of Rakhine in western Myanmar has more recently become better known as a crucible for an ongoing humanitarian, security, and developmental crisis. Violence between majority Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims -- who speak a distinct Bengali dialect and have lived in Rakhine for generations -- has led to an estimated one million Rohingya fleeing west for the comparative safety of Cox’s Bazar, in eastern Bangladesh, the vast majority of whom are women and children. In a campaign of sexual violence, arson, and mass murder waged by the Burmese military, or Tatamadaw, the number of Rohingya killed is currently unknown.

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