The Rohingya is the most persecuted ethnic minority in Myanmar, subject to policies of oppression which are applied almost exclusively to them. Government policies target Rohingya on the basis of their ethnicity and religion.
The 1982 citizenship law stripped Rohingya of their citizenship rights in Myanmar, and since then Rohingya has had their human rights denied in a number of ways. This includes restrictions on the right of movement, the right to family life including marriage and number of children, the right to education, the right to health and medical support, and right to livelihoods.
The Rohingya has also been targeted with violence from the state, the military, the police, the border guard force and individuals. There has been numerous attempts to drive the Rohingya out of Myanmar, either by full-scale violent attacks, or by starving them out of the country. A military attack in 2016 forced 66,000 Rohingya to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh, according to UN figures. In August 2017, the Burmese military launched a full-scale military attack on the Rohingya that the UN later said had the “hallmarks of genocide”. Over 700,000 Rohingya fled into Bangladesh this time, and now, according to official UN figures, 855,000 Rohingya live in the largest refugee camp in the world in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Unofficial figures put the total refugee population at over a million.
The Rohingya that remains in Myanmar are continuing to suffer under the genocidal rule of the Myanmar government. Since violent attacks in 2012, over 100,000 Rohingya live in squalid camps in Rakhine State, camps that have been likened to open-air prison camps. Even though the Myanmar government has claimed it is closing down the camps, in reality people are still confined to camp-like living. They cannot leave the camps freely, they have no way of earning a livelihood and there is little or no medical support, and no formal education. The total remaining Rohingya population in Rakhine State, believed to be just under 600,000, live in constant fear of new attacks.
The situation in Rakhine State has again worsened since January 2020 through escalating conflict, a ban on mobile internet access in parts of the state, and the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army has escalated this year, displacing tens of thousands of people and killing dozens of Rakhine, Chin, and Rohingya civilians through shelling and landmines.