Refugee Problem in Bangladesh: The Rohingya Refugees

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Refugee Problem in Bangladesh: The Rohingya Refugees

By Razu Ahamed Academia.edu

 Now a day’s refugee crisis is one of the burning issues in the world. An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home and among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees. Bangladesh has started experiencing the problems of the issues of Refugees since 1978; almost 200,000 refugees came into Bangladesh and took shelter. These refugees fled from Myanmar and known as ―Rohingya‖. Again in 1991-92 approximately 250,000 refugees fled from Myanmar’s western Rakhine state and this ethnic, linguistic and religious minority of the Myanmar community started living in the south east district of Cox’s Bazaar. That was just the beginning of the journey of the refugees and it is still proceeding unabated  .Now over 688,000 Rohingya refugees seeking safety in Bangladesh.Every human has some rights as a human being.

 These rights help a person to grow up in the society. When a person deprives from these rights it becomes horrible for a person to sustain. Every man in the world has the rights to get food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical service. All these are called basic human rights. Every Refugee has these rights as a human being. The protection of the rights of refugees, who are without national protection and the prevention of conflicts, between the countries of origin of the refugees and the asylum countries are matters of national and international concern. Bangladesh has a long record of performing humanitarian obligations towards refugees (Rohingya refugees) residing in her territories and has always followed the principle of non-refoulement.

In fact, legally Bangladesh is not bound to be the final sanctuary for the refugees from Myanmar or from any other state. As with many other countries in Asia, Bangladesh is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol. Neither is it a party to the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions.3 In the absence of any strict domestic law, to save its image in the international arena, Bangladesh is struggling very hard indeed to overcome this refugee issue.4 The vision of this write-up is to highlight the problems of Rohingya refugees and also to recommend the framing of a strict domestic law to specifically handle this situation.

The Rohingya are an ethnic group closely linked through language, culture, and religion to the dominant Bengali population of Bangladesh. Indeed, the Rohingya language is very close the variety of Bangla spoken in Chittagong, Bangladesh’s major port in the southeast, and until the late 1600s part of the Arakanese Empire in today‘s Myanmar. The issue of Rohingya refugees is one of the long-standing refugee problems of the world and they are most vulnerable amongst the refugee communities. The UNHCR provides protection and life-sustaining assistance to refugees residing in the two official camps, pending the identification of durable solutions. The organization advocates for the prevention of statelessness, more self-reliance opportunities for urban refugees and durable solutions.

The mass exodus of Rohingya Muslim started in the late 1970s due to forced labour, land confiscation, religious intolerance, rape, and other forms of persecution by the Myanmar military regime. They were rendered stateless by the 1982 Burma Citizenship Law, which mainly confers the right to a nationality on members of the 135 national races listed by the government, amongst which the Rohingyas are not included. This statelessness exposed them to systematic discrimination and human rights violation, which force them to migrate in Bangladesh. Since 25 August 2017, 6,88,000 Rohingya refugees escaping violence in Myanmar have sought protection in Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh, increasing the area’s refugee population to more than 9,00,300. Some 91 percent live in highly congested makeshift settlements and camps. Many thousands more have crossed into Bangladesh, where despite offers of international assistance, the Bangladesh government continues to deny the majority of Rohingya basic humanitarian relief or the right to legally register as refugees. The Rohingya continue to face harassment from the Myanmar Government. Even the leader of Myanmar’s democracy Aung San Suu Kyi remained silent on this issue.

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