Keeping hope alive at the United Nations
Justice for All staff meets with UN leaders and experts on a regular basis, urging them to address mass atrocities effectively and to prioritize the Rohingya cause. Representing the Burma Task Force program, staff also regularly consults with other human rights organizations active at the UN, to build consensus and strategize around R2P, Migrant and Refugee Rights, Trafficking, Xenophobia, Genocide and SDG 16.
Some of our 2018 activities are referred to in this video commemorating Human Rights Day 2018:
In 2018 we met with Envoys, special rapporteurs and ambassadors, spoke on one UN panel organized by the NGO Committee for Migration, participated in numerous WFUNA dialogues with UNSC presidents, asked questions at other events, shared articles and reports with Reliefweb, the UN Association, maintaining ongoing dialogue with Passblue, and other UN specific media. In a climate of skepticism regarding the UN record, we have actively promoted multilateralism on radio, blogs and social media, while supporting reform and critical thinking. We also sent out letters to all UN missions, and in 2019 we plan to create a monthly newsletter for Missions and agencies.
Justice for All Staff also engages with NGOs regarding the foreign policies in the EU and ASEAN nations. While some nations in the UN Security Council continue to block referral to the ICC, a strong report by the UN Fact-Finding Mission in summer 2018 recognized the genocide and several member nations have become strong allies, resulting in funding for expanded war crimes investigation and two resolutions passed by the Human Rights Council and another supported by 142 nations in the UN General Assembly.
We recognize the important role of international law and international courts and support multilateral responses to mass atrocities. Since September 2017, affiliates of our Burma Task Force program have been working closely with Rohingya survivors to record, translate, and archive first-hand testimonies about the atrocities carried out against them. Collaborating with UK human rights lawyer Megan Hirst, BTF has made these testimonies the basis of a legal case against Burmese civil and military leaders in the International Criminal Court (ICC). Due to continued pressure, the International Criminal Court is considering mass displacement of the Rohingya as an issue that is covered under ICC jurisdiction. Burma Task Force joins its Rohingya allies to urge the UN Security Council to make a full referral to the Court.