Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session A5 3: Rohingya Genocide
Friday, 23/July/2021:
12:00pm - 1:30pm

Session Chair: Ronan Lee, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Location: Room 3


Where Will I Go? The Rohingya Dilemma

Md Khalid Rahman

American International University-Bangladesh, Bangladesh, People's Republic of

Since 25 August 2017, more than 800,000 Rohingyas have left their homeland, fled to Bangladesh, due to violence and persecution by the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military force and local Rakhine community. Today, more than one million stateless Rohingyas live in the world’s largest and most densely populated refugee camps at Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar. The Rohingyas live a miserable life in these camps in extreme condition. Bangladesh has been bearing and rearing the largest refugee camps on earth for more than three years. Rohingyas not only want to return to their homeland but also, they seek justice for the crimes committed against them. Different stakeholders take various legal initiatives against Myanmar in national and international levels. During this time, several efforts of repatriation have been initiated by the Government of Bangladesh but failed due to adamant mentality of the Myanmar government. It seems that those failed attempts made the repatriation process next to impossible. After the exodus, international community aided funds for the helpless Rohingyas, but they seemed reluctant in the third state resettlement program. Therefore, the burden of Rohingyas falls along on Bangladesh. Regarding integration of Rohingyas, Bangladeshi people share mixed emotions and experiences. After years of complexity the much-contested relocation of Rohingyas to Bhashan Char has become a reality but this process is criticized by several stakeholders or international community. So, the future of the Rohingyas is uncertain and ambiguous. Though there are several solutions, due to complications Rohingyas are in a dilemma which one to take. As the above-mentioned processes of return of Rohingyas are complicated to perform, in this video documentary, we have tried to explore answers to the following questions-

Firstly, how much the Rohingyas have suffered due to persecution? Secondly, can Rohingyas return to Myanmar? And finally, how justice can be served?


Digitizing Responses to the Rohingya Refugee Crisis in the Post-Pandemic Era

Mohammad Pizuar Hossain

East West University, Bangladesh & Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh.

Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a majority-Buddhist nation in Southeast Asia which has a protracted history of inter-religious and inter-ethnic conflict (Walton, 2014, 7). The Rohingya have been among the most persecuted group, with the Kachin, in this country (Selth, 2018, 6). The members of this ethnic group allegedly fled mass killings, mass gang rape of women and children, brutal beatings, enforced disappearances, and other serious human rights violations (Selth, 2018, 6). They had to leave their homeland and take shelter in many neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh. At present, nearly 1.1 million Rohingya refugees live in various refugees camps of Bangladesh (UNHCR, 2020). This crisis is becoming further complicated by the impacts of Covid-19. This pandemic is uniquely compelling the governments and the civil societies of the entire world, including Bangladesh, to digitize responses to the Rohingya crisis. In this situation, the academics, non-governmental organizations, and funding agencies for research should initiate evidence-based studies into the use of digital platforms to address the Rohingya crisis. In line with this, this study intends to explore the prospects and challenges of the use of digital platforms to respond to the Rohingya refugee crisis during the post-pandemic era in Bangladesh. For this purpose, the author of this research adopts both qualitative and quantitative approaches and gathers information using both primary and secondary sources.


Walton, M. J. & Susan H. (2014). Contesting Buddhist Narratives: Democratization, Nationalism, and Communal Violence. Policy Studies, 71, 1-67.

Selth, A. (2018). Myanmar’s Armed Forces and the Rohingya Crisis. United States Institute of Peace.

UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). (2020). Operational Portal (Refugee Situations).

Legitimizing Genocide in Myanmar: The Road to Impunity

Cecilia Ducci

Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Italy

Despite the development of a norm cluster on the condemnation of the crime of genocide, including the norm on the prevention and punishment of genocide, the non-impunity norm or Responsibility to Prosecute, and the Responsibility to Protect, the ‘crime of crimes’ continues to be committed to date often with impunity. This is often attributed to competing interests within the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) or to non-Western states’ insufficient socialization into the anti-genocide norms. However, counterintuitively, the proposed paper highlights the agency of the norm violators in legitimizing their misbehavior to international audiences by contesting the anti-genocide norms, thus affecting their implementation. It therefore posits that genocide perpetrators aim to prevent a consensus on the definition of the violations as genocide from emerging within the international community, most notably the UNSC, the Secretary-General and regional organizations, consequently impeding any potential punishment measures. Despite being the most prominent case of genocide in the 21st century and numerous human rights NGOs’ calls for action, the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar has been neglected by the international community and collective action to punish Myanmar’s leaders is absent. This paper will draw on the constructivist theory of norm contestation to carry out a qualitative analysis of the discourse advanced by genocide perpetrators and those who defend them (i.e. Aung San Suu Kyi and her defense lawyers). It aims to analyze how genocide perpetrators contest the anti-genocide norms and discursively justify their use of genocidal violence by persuading their target audience and/or silencing their opponents. This paper asserts that an understanding of how genocide perpetrators legitimize their actions to international audiences provides the basis not only to account for why impunity often prevails, but also to reflect on the current state, strengths and flaws of the anti-genocide norms.