Burma's Rohingya

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  • Date and time: Monday 16 July 2012, 6.30-7.30pm
  • Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE
  • Speakers: Greg Constantine, Melanie Teff, Chris Lewa
  • Chair: Margo Picken
  • Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #lseBurma  

Image from Exhibition (c)GregConstantineThe recent developments in Myanmar (Burma) have captured the attention and interest of governments and policy makers around the world.

Governments like the US, UK and the EU have eased sanctions, high level diplomatic missions have met with Burma's leaders and democracy icon and leader of the NLD, Aung San Suu Kyi, is now sitting as a Member of Parliament. Yet with all of the changes, the future for Burma's stateless Rohingya community in the North Rakhine State--recognized as one of the most oppressed people in the world--has received little or no attention and remains one of the most sensitive issues not only in Burma but also in the SE Asia region.

This event corresponds to the photography exhibition| and book launch of, 'Exiled To Nowhere: Burma's Rohingya' by Greg Constantine. It discusses the situation for the Rohingya in Burma, Bangladesh and beyond as well as how protracted statelessness, exclusion and the denial of citizenship and fundamental rights have impacted this community.

Speakers

Greg Constantine is a freelance photojournalist from the United States. Since early 2006, he has worked on one long-term project titled "Nowhere People," which documents the struggles of stateless minority groups around the world. Over the past six years Constantine has made eight trips to southern Bangladesh to document and expose the plight and stories of the Rohingya community. His work has been widely published and exhibited and has been recognized with numerous awards.

In 2011, he was selected by the Open Society Institute for the group exhibition, Moving Walls 19 and he was shortlisted for the Amnesty International Media Award for Photojournalism in the UK. His first book, Kenya’s Nubians: Then & Now, was published in late 2011 and his second book, Exiled To Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya, will be released in June 2012. Constantine has been based in Southeast Asia since late 2005.

Melanie Teff is Senior Advocate, European Representative, Refugees International and has conducted numerous research missions with Refugees International to assess the situation of refugees, internally-displaced and stateless people in Liberia, northern Uganda, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Colombia, northern Iraq, Syria, and Kuwait, as well as the Rohingya communities in Bangladesh and Malaysia. She previously worked as international advocacy officer for the Jesuit Refugee Service and has coordinated the International Coalition on the Detention of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants. She has worked as a human rights advocacy trainer in the Dominican Republic, where her focus was on the issue of statelessness. She has also worked as legal advisor to a local nongovernmental organization in the Solomon Islands combating domestic violence and child abuse. Prior to getting involved with international work, she worked as a lawyer in the UK with a focus on child rights. Ms. Teff has a Master of Laws degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex.

Chris Lewa is Director of The Arakan Project, an NGO based in Asia, and is a leading expert on the Rohingya minority of Burma/Myanmar. For the last 12 years, she has been engaged in research-based advocacy on the situation of the Rohingya's in Burma, on their predicament as refugees in Bangladesh and on their migratory movements throughout Asia. She has also worked as a consultant for the UNHCR, donor governments and international human rights organizations.

Coming to the event

This event is open to all and free to attend, with no ticket or pre-registration required. You are advised to arrive 15-20 minutes in advance of the advertised start time.

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