Following report from NGO co-founded by Dean Scharf, Congress declares Rohingya crimes genocide

View of Rohingya muslims refugee camp with white tents and many people

Ten days after the human rights NGO co-founded by CWRU Law Co-Dean Michael Scharf issued its report on the crimes committed against Rohingya Muslims, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported the report’s findings, passing a resolution 394 – 1, declaring that the crimes committed by Myanmar's security forces constituted genocide.

The United States government commissioned the Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) to investigate the crisis in Myanmar, where the military of the mainly Buddhist country has been accused of committing genocide against the Rohingya, a Muslim refugee population from western Myanmar.

PILPG, a United Nations-designated, non-governmental organization founded in 1995, offers pro bono advice to international institutions on the legal aspects of peace negotiations and constitution-drafting, as well as human-rights protection, self-determination and the prosecution of war crimes. Over the past 20 years, PILPG has operated offices in 25 countries, providing $20 million annually in pro bono legal assistance.

The firm hosted a press conference to highlight the findings. Dozens of media outlets—from Politico to The Wall Street Journal—picked up the story. Scharf was part of the team of experts that drafted the report.