Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Rohingya in Ruin

Exploring Potential Twenty-First Century Genocide
By Bryan Hum
Bryan Hum is a third-year student at Albany Law School. He graduated from the North Carolina State University in 2013 with a double major in International Studies and Political Science. Bryan is currently a member of the Albany Law Review. He serves as this year's Executive Editor for Symposium.
During his time at Albany Law, Bryan has been an associate on the Moot Court Board, a member of the Student Bar Association, interned with the Office of the New York State Attorney General, and held a field placement with Judge Lawrence E. Kahn of the Northern District of New York. Upon graduation, Bryan hopes to pursue a career in public service in Washington, D.C.
This paper was prepared for Professor Bonventre’s International Law of War & Crime Seminar.

Genocide—a single, eight-letter, trisyllabic word—seems innocuous in relation to the current state of global affairs and off-the-cuff media reporting, both of which are dominated by terrorism, the Islamic State, and the hypocrisy that is presidential campaigning.  This small word, however, packs quite a punch; at least it did.  To those few international lawyers and organizations that champion the fight against genocide it is the “crime of crimes,”  but to everyone else, it is just another “evil” easily grouped in with the current wave of terrorism.   It is pushed aside as just another one of the world’s problems.  While the decline in awareness and recognition of genocide as a serious crime is not directly related to the rise in terrorism and other attention-grabbing stories, part of the blame can be placed on how global leaders and news agencies view the term, present the facts, and shape public perception.

This article will examine the potential genocide of the Rohingya, an ethnic group living in limbo across Southeast Asia, whose people currently have no home, no citizenship,  and who have been denied entry and settlement by countless countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.   Part II will provide a brief background on the birth of the term genocide and its current definition.  Part III will offer background into the Rohingya people, and how they came to be in the situation they currently suffer.  Part IV will examine the application of genocide, as discussed in Part II, to the predicament of the Rohingya people to determine whether they are indeed victims of genocidal acts or suffering at the hands of tyranny.
To read the entire paper, open HERE.