Through grassroots social media organizing, Burma Task Force has mobilized thousands of calls to our elected representatives in the nation’s capital, paving the way for the U.S. to increase funding for Rohingya refugees from $30 million to $210 million.
Likewise, thanks to our office in Canada, the Canadian government increased humanitarian relief from $10 million to $60 million-plus with a commitment of $100 million yearly and became the first country to officially declare the crisis to be a genocide. The US House of Representatives finally did so in December 2018. Keeping up popular pressure also contributed to the decision for the State Department to issue its own report, which we hope will lead to more robust human right protections.
In addition to a special women’s and interfaith outreach, New York office has coordinated efforts with Jewish allies in synagogues and holocaust centers around the country and assisted in organizing sign on statements involving scores of leaders. We have begun outreach to the Burmese community in Utica, sponsoring a Burmese soccer team during the summer of 2018. Other activities include organizing rallies and UN mission visits; expanded presentations on campuses; research and report writing; and outreach to think tanks, media and other influencers. We organized rallies and panel discussions and participated in the Women’s March. For events commemorating the August 25 anniversary of the Genocide our allies were able to get the Mayor of New York to issue a statement on the Rohingya.
Two of our documentaries were featured on international news outlets: “The Rohingya People: ‘A Slow Burning Genocide’” on BBC World News and, regarding the Tula Toli crisis, “Rohingya Refugees Tell of Massacre” was featured on CNN. In addition to several of our own webinars and radio shows organized in Chicago, Burma Task Force in New York helped organize a webinar with Law on the Margins and participated in several radio show with Asian Human Rights. Such platforms broadcast the Rohingya cause to hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world. In addition, we co-funded a film, “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters” that has been viewed across the country and also at the United Nations. These productions are essential to keep the plight of the Rohingya in the public eye, and to counter propaganda.