Canada deeply concerned by reports of efforts to prematurely repatriate Rohingya refugees


November 14, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement on reports of an agreement to begin repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar in the coming days given the current context: 

“Canada is deeply concerned about the proposed repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar this month. UN bodies and international organizations have been clear that conditions for the Rohingya to return to Myanmar are clearly insufficient. The crisis continues. Violence and impunity persist in Rakhine state, and refugees continue to flee the country. The Rohingya must not be repatriated to an environment where violence and gross human rights abuses continue to be perpetrated.

“Canada has consistently emphasized that the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar must be voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable and that it must uphold their human rights.

“Canada underscores the vital role of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to determine the voluntariness of possible returns of refugees and ensure this is based on informed consent.

“Canada urges the Government of Myanmar to guarantee the necessary safeguards for and protection of any returning Rohingya refugees. Ensuring safe freedom of movement, equal rights, access to health and education services and, most importantly, access to citizenship is essential for all Rohingya. Repatriation must not be rushed.

“We continue to call on the Government of Myanmar to grant full and unimpeded access for UN and international organizations, as well as for international observers, to monitor, assess and facilitate any future repatriation efforts.”


Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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