Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Human Rights of the Rohingya People

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 10:30am
2255 Rayburn House Office Building


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on the human rights and humanitarian situation of the Rohingya people in Rakhine State in Burma, and along the Bangladesh border.

The Rohingya are a predominately Sunni Muslim ethnic group that resides in Burma’s Rakhine State and eastern Bangladesh. Long considered one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in Burma, the Rohingya have been subjected to severe legal, economic and social discrimination, including limitations on travel, access to education, and employment. More than 800,000 Rohingya have been refused nationality and become stateless since the adoption of a restrictive Burmese citizenship law in 1982.

Since October 2016, the human rights and humanitarian situation of the Rohingya has deteriorated further, as the result of a military crackdown following attacks on three police outposts in northern Rakhine State. An estimated 1,000 Rohingya reportedly have been killed and between 65,000 and 73,000 thousand have fled into Bangladesh in response to the violence that has been unleashed. In early February, based on interviews with Rohingya in Bangladesh, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights documented gang-rapes, extrajudicial killings (including babies and young children), brutal beatings, disappearances and other serious human rights violations by Myanmar’s security forces in a sealed-off area of northern Rakhine State.

Witnesses will present testimony informed by recent travel to Rakhine State and the border with Bangladesh, and will offer recommendations for U.S. policy in the aftermath of the decision to ease economic sanctions in late 2016.

This hearing will be open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. The hearing will be livestreamed via YouTube on the Commission website, For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Mr. McGovern) at 202-226-6379 or or Jamie Staley at (202-226-1516) or (for Mr. Hultgren). 

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Randy Hultgren, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC

Opening Remarks


Panel I

  • Hon. Tom Andrews, President and CEO, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
    Written testimony
  • Matthew Smith, Co-Founder and CEO, Fortify Rights
    Written testimony
  • Andrea Gittleman, Program Manager, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Written testimony
  • Mohamed Naeem, Ethnic Rohingya and Community Leader
    Written testimony


Submitted for the Record




115th Congress