The UK Government’s Response to the Myanmar Crisis Contents


The situation in Myanmar (Burma) is grave. The Myanmar military, the Tatmadaw, is continuing its violent crackdown on protestors, which has led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of disappearances. A crisis of this scale requires swift, coordinated action, and the many thousands of people who have been displaced by the violence urgently require humanitarian assistance.

The UK holds a number of unique roles and responsibilities which allow it to lead on preventing further violence and ensuring essential humanitarian support reaches those who need it. The Government has taken some strong measures in response to the coup and the violence, but there is much more that it can do. In this report we recommend a number of actions the UK Government should take to help reduce the violence against civilians. At a time when the Government is planning greater engagement with the Indo-Pacific, Myanmar presents a test of how effective our policy in the region can be.

We recommend that the Government take further steps to secure a binding arms embargo on Myanmar, widen its sanctions approach to include a much broader range of people and organisations, provide humanitarian and logistical support to ethnic advocacy and media organisations, and take steps to ensure that those perpetrating these crimes will face justice in the future.

Effective mediation in Myanmar requires concrete action. Failure to do so in the past has led to the crisis we see today. Failure to do so in the future will only lead to further violence, instability and loss of life.

Published: 16 July 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement