OTTAWA – Thursday, members of Parliament unanimously agreed to pass a motion recognizing the treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as genocide.

The motion was brought forward by Liberal MP and foreign affairs parliamentary secretary Andrew Leslie. Specifically the motion called for MPs to agree to:

  • Endorse the findings of the UN fact-finding mission in Myanmar that crimes against humanity were committed;
  • That these “horrific acts’ be sanctioned;
  • Recognize that these crimes constitute genocide;
  • Call on the UN Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court; and that
  • Senior Myanmar military officials be investigated and prosecuted for the crime of genocide.

After the motion was read, MPs clapped and agreed to adopt the motion.

Speaking from Washington, D.C., Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called it a "very important statement by Canada."

She thanked all MPs for their work in recognizing "this atrocity."

Canada has publicly condemned the violence and has committed $300 million over the next three years to help refugees fleeing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the southeast Asian country.

Since August 2017, roughly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Buddhist-majority Rakhine state for refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh amid widespread violence that the United Nations has labelled "textbook ethnic cleansing."