The bodies of children fleeing from ethnic cleansing in Myanmar have washed up on the shores of Bangladesh in the wake of increasing violence in the village of Rohingya (video below).
The graphic video reported by 9News is not verified but shows a young man reaching into the water to help -- however, he quickly retracts his grasp when he realizes the child was not breathing. A woman is seen holding a motionless infant. Weeks prior, the U.N. was urged to intervene.
On Aug. 31, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley urged security forces in Myanmar to adhere to international law as the violence with Rohingya militants intensified, according to Reuters.
“Burmese security forces act to prevent further violence, they have a responsibility to adhere to international humanitarian law, which includes refraining from attacking innocent civilians and humanitarian workers,” said Haley to the U.N. council, as reported by Reuters.
Yanghee Lee, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, said to Reuters the humanitarian situation was deteriorating rapidly.
More than 123,000 Rohingya are now said to have fled violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state since Aug. 25, according to the BBC.
“I hear one of (my) sisters has already crossed to Bangladesh, but two other sisters -- I have not heard about them,” Mr. Sha, a community leader in Australia, said to 9News.
In a statement reported by 9News, the 15-member council "expressed concern about reports of excessive violence during the security operations and called for immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine, de-escalate the situation, re-establish law and order, ensure the protection of civilians".
The government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar denied accusations, saying they are targeting “terrorists” and not children or innocent civilians despite reports that show otherwise.
“Ethnic cleansing” is not recognized as a crime under international law, the U.N. Office on Genocide Prevention said to Reuters, but it has been used in U.N. resolutions in judgments of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) faulted Serbia in the ruling, saying it “could and should” have prevented the genocide and, in its aftermath, should have punished the Bosnian Serbs who systematically killed close to 8,000 men and boys in July 1995, according to The New York Times.
"Myanmar has thus far failed to ratify most human rights treaties," ICJ states on their website.
The introduction goes on to say the ICJ is incapable of imposing these sanctions, leaving the effort to the UN.
Burmese troops were "killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross the river (into Bangladesh)," John McKissick, head of the United Nations refugee agency in the Bangladeshi border town of Cox's Bazar, said to The Independent.
It is believed the children who washed up on the shores of Bangladesh entered the Naf River, which feeds into the Bay of Bengal. The alternative, it is reported, is being burned alive and beheaded.
Warning: Video contains graphic images that may be offensive to some viewers.