At the beginning of April, Bob Rae, in his role as Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, released his report, “Tell them we’re human” What Canada and the world can do about the Rohingya crisis, on the situation of the Rohingya.
This week, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland released the government’s response, which is being referred to as “Canada’s Strategy to Respond to the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.” This strategy will focus on four core objectives: alleviating the humanitarian crisis; encouraging positive political developments in Myanmar; ensuring accountability for the crimes committed; and enhancing international cooperation. As well, it says that “Canada will also work toward building support for the resettlement of Rohingya refugees to Canada and other countries.” $300 million of international assistance funding over three years will be devoted to the strategy.
Unfortunately, as with Special Envoy Rae’s report, it remains unclear how effective or useful some parts of the strategy may be, including continued active engagement with the Myanmar government.
And, disappointingly, while the Responsibility to Protect was only mentioned in passing in Rae’s report, it is not mentioned at all in the government response.