Text: H.Res.418 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)

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Introduced in House (11/18/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 418 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. RES. 418

 Urging the Government of Burma to end the persecution of the Rohingya 
  people and respect internationally recognized human rights for all 
           ethnic and religious minority groups within Burma.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           November 18, 2013

 Mr. McGovern (for himself, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Franks of Arizona, and Mr. 
  Smith of New Jersey) submitted the following resolution; which was 
              referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
 Urging the Government of Burma to end the persecution of the Rohingya 
  people and respect internationally recognized human rights for all 
           ethnic and religious minority groups within Burma.

Whereas over 800,000 Rohingya ethnic minority live in Burma, mostly in the 
        western Rakhine state;
Whereas currently, approximately 140,000 Rohingya are internally displaced in 
        central Rakhine state and hundreds of thousands have fled to neighboring 
        countries, including at least 231,000 in Bangladesh, at least 15,000 in 
        Malaysia, and many more in Thailand and Indonesia;
Whereas the Burma Citizenship Law of 1982 has long excluded from approved ethnic 
        groups the Rohingya people, despite many having lived in northern 
        Rakhine state for generations, and has thereby rendered Rohingyas 
        stateless and vulnerable to exploitation and abuse;
Whereas the Rohingya have historically experienced other particularized and 
        severe legal, economic, and social discrimination, including 
        restrictions on travel outside their village of residence, limitations 
        on their access to higher education, and a prohibition from working as 
        civil servants, including as doctors, nurses, or teachers;
Whereas authorities have also required Rohingya to obtain official permission 
        for marriages and have singled out Rohingya in northern Rakhine state 
        for forced labor and arbitrary arrests;
Whereas the Government of Burma has forcefully relocated Rohingya into relief 
        camps, where they lack decent shelter, access to clean water, food, 
        sanitation, health care, the ability to support themselves, or basic 
        education for their children;
Whereas a two-child policy sanctioned solely upon the Rohingya population in the 
        districts of Maungdaw and Buthidaung in northern Rakhine state restricts 
        the rights of women and children, prevents children from obtaining 
        Burmese citizenship, denies Rohingyas access to basic government 
        services, and fosters discrimination against Muslim women by Buddhist 
        nurses and midwives;
Whereas the United States Department of State has regularly expressed since 1999 
        its particular concern for severe legal, economic, and social 
        discrimination against Burma's Rohingya population in its Country Report 
        for Human Rights Practices;
Whereas the level of persecution, including widespread arbitrary arrest, 
        detention, and extortion of Rohingya and other Muslim communities, has 
        dramatically increased over the past year and a half;
Whereas communal violence has affected both Muslims and Burma's majority 
        Buddhist population, but has overwhelmingly targeted Burma's ethnic 
        Muslim minorities, which altogether comprise less than 5 percent of 
        Burma's population;
Whereas violence targeting Rohingyas in Maungdaw and Sittwe in June and July of 
        2012 resulted in the deaths of at least 57 Muslims and the destruction 
        of 1,336 Rohingyas homes;
Whereas on October 23, 2012, at least 70 Rohingyas were killed, and the Yan Thei 
        village of the Mrauk-U Township was destroyed;
Whereas violence has also targeted Muslims not of Rohingya ethnicity, including 
        riots in March 2013 in the town of Meiktila that resulted in the death 
        of at least 43 Burmese Muslims, including 20 students and several 
        teachers massacred at an Islamic school, the burning of at least 800 
        homes and 5 mosques, and the displacement of 12,000 people;
Whereas on October 1, 2013, riots involving more than 700 Buddhists in Thandwe 
        township resulted in the death of 4 Kaman Muslim men and the stabbing 
        death of a 94-year-old Muslim woman;
Whereas over 4,000 religious, public, and private Rohingya structures have been 
        destroyed;
Whereas Rohingyas have experienced and continue to experience further 
        restrictions on their practice of Islam, culture, and language; and
Whereas the violence against ethnic Muslim populations, including the Rohingya 
        and other Muslim groups, is part of a larger troubling pattern of 
        violence against other ethnic and religious minorities in Burma: Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) calls on the Government of Burma to end all forms of 
        persecution and discrimination of the Rohingya people and 
        ensure respect for internationally recognized human rights for 
        all ethnic and religious minority groups within Burma; and
            (2) calls on the United States Government and the 
        international community to put consistent pressure on the 
        Government of Burma to take all necessary measures to end the 
        persecution and discrimination of the Rohingya population and 
        to protect the fundamental rights of all ethnic and religious 
        minority groups in Burma.
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