Burma Project - Situation of the Rohingyas in North Arakan State

In August 2008 the Irish Centre for Human Rights received funding from Irish Aid to launch a project on the human rights situation of the Rohingyas/Muslims of Rakhine State in Western Burma/Myanmar. As part of the project a research unit was established at the Irish Centre for Human Rights to carry an open source research and take part in a fact-finding mission and the drafting of a report under the supervision of Prof. William Schabas.

 In 2009, Nancie Prudhomme (project manager and researcher) and Joseph Powderly (project researcher) undertook a 4-week fact-finding mission to gather more detailed, first-hand and new information about the situation of the Rohingyas in Western Burma. As part of their mission Nancie and Joseph visited Burma and Thailand. In Thailand, they had meetings on the 
situation of the Rohingya "boat people" pushed back to sea at the beginning of 2009 and on the status of the Rohingya issue within Asia generally and more specifically at the ASEAN level.

As part of the fact-finding mission the researchers also spent two weeks in Bangladesh visiting refugee camps and interviewing Rohingya refugees and human rights and humanitarian workers. The researchers were joined in Bangladesh by Mr. John Ralston, Executive Director of the International Institution for Criminal Investigation and former Chief of Investigations at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and for the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry for Darfur. The team interviewed Rohingya victims in and around refugee camps in Bangladesh. The mission in Bangladesh provided detailed information on the causes for flight to Bangladesh and the current situation in Western Burma.

 The report of the Rohingya project was officially launched on June 16 th, 2010 by Micheál Martin, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, at Iveagh House. The full report is available here: Crimes Against Humanity in Western Burma