Myanmar: Rohingya refugees supported by Victim Advocates International filed a specific instance against Facebook [Meta] at the Irish National Contact Point
"Rohingya refugees supported by Victim Advocates International vs. Facebook", 9 December 2021
On 9 December 2021, 16 Rohingya complainants assisted by Victim Advocates International filed a specific instance against Facebook [Meta, Inc.] at the Irish NCP. The complaint concerns activities and omissions of Facebook related to its services in Myanmar in 2017.
As is well-documented by numerous human rights bodies, including the United Nations Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar (“IIFFMM”), military operations conducted by the Burmese military in 2017 forcibly displaced 750,000 Rohingya into neighbouring Bangladesh, and were accompanied by numerous other egregious human rights abuses. The military and others used Facebook to incite violence, which resulted in numerous human rights violations suffered by the Rohingya. The IIFFMM concluded that Facebook’s role in spreading the hate speech that fueled the violence in Rakhine state in 2017 was “significant.”
Despite Facebook’s own acknowledgment that it did not do enough the prevent its platform from being used to incite violence, it has never provided any form of remediation to the Rohingya victims for the human rights violations to which it contributed. The complainants submit that Facebook is in breach of the Guidelines because it: 1) failed to conduct adequate due diligence for its business operations in Myanmar, 2) contributed to human rights violations suffered by the Rohingya in 2017 through both its acts and omissions; 3) did not have a policy commitment to respect internationally recognised human rights as at 2017, and has since issued one that is not compliant with the Guidelines; and 4) failed to provide a remedy despite contributing to the human rights violations.