CHRI urges Commonwealth to Act on Rohingya Refugee Crisis

November 25, 2017

New Delhi,India

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) petitioned the Commonwealth Secretary-General to reaffirm and rights of Rohingya refugee and lead the Commonwealth countries in taking a stand on the crisis.

CHRI called upon the leaders of the Commonwealth and Patricia Scotland, the organization’s Secretary-General, to “press the Myanmar government to end abusive operations, prevent future atrocities, and create the conditions necessary for a voluntary return in safety and dignity.” Praising Bangladesh for its generosity and humanitarian work and accepting over 600,000 Rohingyas, the

CHRI leadership urged it “to continue upholding those rights and not insist on repatriation until conditions are deemed safe for return by international, independent agencies.”

In a letter sent yesterday to Commonwealth Secretary-General, CHRI noted that the escalation of the crisis has adversely impacted the Commonwealth member states, including India Bangladesh, Malaysia and Australia.

In September, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and human rights groups had referred to the atrocities against the Rohingya as ethnic cleansing. Serious concerns were also been raised by the UN Secretary General in his September statement to the UN Security Council.

The letter to Scotland has been signed by the CHRI leadership including Yash Ghai, Chairman, International Advisory Commission, Sanjoy Hazarika, Director, Wajahat Habibullah, Chair, Executive Committee (India), Sam Okudzeto, Chair Africa, as well as Richard Bourne, founding Director.

For further information, please contact:

Yashasvi Nain

Program Officer,

Strategic Initiatives Programme


Prayank Jain  

Research Officer,

Strategic Initiatives Programme