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  • Last Update : 02:47 pm

UNHCR: Future of Rohingyas lies in restoring their rights

  • Published at 01:33 pm March 18th, 2019
Myanmar-Rohingya issue
File photo: Rohingya refugees gather at a market inside a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, March 7, 2019 Reuters

More than 16,000 Rohingyas have arrived in Bangladesh since January 2018

UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at UNHCR Volker Turk has emphasized the importance of the safe and dignified return of the Rohingya people to their place of origin—in Myanmar—and the full restoration of their rights.

The UN Refugee Agency official said this in a video message from a Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar on Monday.

“Their future lies in return; in a condition of safety, dignity and with the full restoration of their rights,” he said, adding that it is absolutely clear that they—now stateless people— belong to Myanmar.

Turk is currently visiting Bangladesh to assess the situation of the Rohingya people in Bangladesh and explore potential solutions to the refugee crisis.

Director of the Division of External Relations, Dominique Hyde and Director of the Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Indrika Ratwatte are accompanying him.

Turk said Rohingya people have been denied a sense of belonging and are repressed. “And it is very important that they are safe as we can see here in the camps around Cox's Bazar.”

He said the Rohingya people here have a sense of belonging now and that is precisely what registration does.

The group spent the day meeting Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar.

They also visited one of five centres in the refugee settlements where the joint Bangladesh Government-UNHCR Registration exercise continues.

More than 110,000 refugees have now received new fraud-proof ID cards, according to UNHCR.

For many, it is the first proper identity documents they have had; vital for their protection and access to services.

UNHCR says registration plays a key role in establishing that individuals have been displaced from Myanmar and have the right to return to their country when it is safe for them to do so.

Turk began his Bangladesh trip on March 16 and will wrap up his visit on March 22, said an official.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya people, officials said.

Over 745,000 Rohingya people—including more than 400,000 children—have fled from Myanmar’s Rakhine State to Bangladesh since August 2017.

More than 16,000 Rohingya have arrived since January 2018.

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