Rohingya Crisis Debate

17th October 2017

Anne Main MP pulled no punches in her speech during the debate on the Rohingya refugee crisis in parliament today, claiming a ‘tide of misery’ has been inflicted upon the region by the Myanmar military. 

The St Albans MP, who co-sponsored the debate, spoke to the motion, ‘that this house agrees with the statement made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that the treatment of the Rohingya by the Myanmar Government amounts to a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing”.’

‘The Rohingya have been brutalised,’ lamented Mrs Main.  ‘There are thousands of unaccompanied children and over 80-thousand pregnant women in these camps… there are serious issues of safeguarding and trafficking concerns that must be addressed.’

Anne continued, ‘The Bangladesh government are doing all they can but the global community needs to do more’. Mrs Main praised the efforts of UK Aid and urged other countries to intervene, saying, ‘the rest of the world can do so much more. We need to encourage our neighbours to do more, [this is not] someone else’s problem’.

The UK government has pledged over £30 million in aid to the region and is matching up to £5 million more in donations from the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal.

Mrs Main praised the UK government for the humanitarian aid they have provided so far but also urged the government to keep up the support they are giving to Bangladesh. ‘[The global community] cannot turn a blind eye.  We cannot pretend it is not happening, this has been happening for years.’

The foreign office minister Mark Field, praised Anne and Rushanara Ali for bringing this matter to the house, and for Mrs Main’s recent social-action visit to the camps on southern Bangladesh. 

Speaking after the debate, Anne said ‘I am glad we were able to secure this debate and so many members across the house were able to express their concerns to the Minister.

‘As I said in the debate, we need to make sure this issue is brought to the attention of world leaders. We cannot let the plight of the Rohingya people slip from the headlines. The world needs to know about this and the global community must act. The Bangladesh government are doing everything they can but further support and aid is needed.’

 

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