McCollum joins congressional trip to Burma, facing humanitarian crisis
U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum was part of a congressional delegation that traveled to Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Bangladesh last week with a goal of addressing a humanitarian crisis facing the Rohingya people.
The message of our trip is clear: We must not tolerate violence, discrimination, and human rights abuses anywhere in the world, McCollum said in a news release. We are also insisting that the United States must do our part to assist the refugees who have fled Burma as they work to rebuild their lives.
McCollum made the trip with two Democratic senators and three other Democratic representatives. The group called on leaders of Myanmar to implement recommendations from an advisory commission led by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan meant to address what U.S. officials have said is ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people.
The lawmakers said officials must grant full access to humanitarian organizations beyond just the International Committee of the Red Cross, grant greater freedom of movement to refugees and a path for ending discrimination as well as a path to securing full citizenship rights.
The group also wants leaders to work with Bangladesh and the United Nations for voluntary, safe repatriation of Rohingya refugees, who they say need to be able to return to their villages and farms without having to worry about their safety. They want refugees to receive assistance in rebuilding homes and community buildings that have been burned, and a full investigation of and accountability for atrocities that have taken place.