Sarah Margon, Washington Director, Human Rights Watch
Andrea Gittleman, Program Manager, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Jason Mills, Humanitarian Representative, Médecins Sans Frontières
Jeremy Konyndyk, Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
Long-simmering conflict in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has exploded in recent weeks, leading to the rapid flight of more than 400,000 members of the country’s Rohingya population into neighboring Bangladesh. The pace of this flight has few precedents in recent history, faster even than the massive flight of Albanians from Kosovo during the 1999 war. The Rohingya are fleeing what appears to be a conscious campaign of violence by Myanmar’s security forces, in what numerous observers argue constitutes a policy of ethnic cleansing. Those who have survived the violence and escaped to Bangladesh face enormous humanitarian needs, and uncertain prospects for ever returning to their now-razed villages and homes. Refugees International, Human Rights Watch, and numerous other agencies are assessing and documenting the violence and have deployed personnel to the border region to interview survivors.
This event will feature opening remarks by Eric Schwartz, President of Refugees International, who has just completed an assessment mission in Bangladesh. Following his remarks, a panel with Mr. Schwartz, Sarah Margon of Human Rights Watch, Andrea Gittleman of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, and other experts will explore the drivers of the crisis, review immediate humanitarian response priorities, and consider policy options for stopping the violence. CGD Senior Policy Fellow Jeremy Konyndyk will moderate the discussion.