The NUG’s Ministry of Human Rights announced a series of commitments to enfranchise ethnic Rohingya and other minorities in a statement issued on June 27.
In the note, the government’s Ministry of Human Rights welcomed a panel discussion at a UN Human Rights Council meeting that discussed the root causes of atrocities committed against Rohingya and other ethnic groups, including the denial of citizenship and identity, hate speech, discrimination, and “historic impunity” enjoyed by the Burmese military.
The parallel government mentioned the military’s genocidal campaign against the ethnic minority that included tactics such as the systematic use of mass rape to terrorize Burma’s Rohingya population.
The statement acknowledged the role past Burmese governments played in creating the conditions for atrocities against Rohingya and other ethnic minorities to take place. “The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, as represented by the National Unity Government, acknowledges with great shame that historic exclusionary and discriminatory policies, practices and rhetoric against the Rohingya and other ethnic groups laid the ground for such atrocities,” the statement claimed.
The parallel government brought attention that the Federal Democracy Charter proposed by the NUG and the NUCC envisions “a nation founded on peace, justice, equality, human rights, and the protection of minorities”. It also said that the words of the charter would be meaningless without being backed by actions.
The NUG announced a series of steps it will take to grant equal rights to Burma’s marginalized ethnic and religious groups. The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CPRH) will seek to repeal the Race and Religion Laws of 2015, which gave the Burmese government power to regulate religious conversions and banned polygamy, which is predominately practiced by ethnic minority groups in the country.
The statement also said that the Citizenship Law of 1982 will either be amended or replaced with a law that grants birthright citizenship or citizenship to any child born from Burmese citizens. The 1982 law was enacted under Ne Win’s regime and excludes the Rohingya and other ethnicities as members of Burma’s “national races”.
The NUG says it will also accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and will work with the international community to share evidence of atrocities. It also said it will also cooperate with the International Court of Justice in The Gambia v. Myanmar and will fully accept and comply with whatever the court decides.
The NUG says it will partner with Rohingya and other ethnic organizations to create safe conditions for the voluntary repatriation of Rohingya and other Burmese refugees driven from their communities due to violence, according to the statement.
“The sustainability of these actions, however, remain contingent on democracy being cemented, on violence being stopped, and on impunity being ended,” the human rights ministry argued.