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Music video seeks solidarity for educating Rohingya refugees and host children

  • Published at 09:55 pm January 24th, 2020
File photo: Displaced Rohinghya children at Kutpalong, Cox's Bazar attending a class in a makeshift school Syed Zakir Hossain/ Dhaka Tribune

A global petition calls on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure quality education in appropriate language and accredited curriculum for both communities

Amnesty International has released a music video making an appeal to people around the world to support education for all children in the Rohingya and host communities in Bangladesh.

The video was released on the occasion of International Day of Education on Friday.

Bangladeshi hip-hop lyricist and musician Mahmud Hasan Tabib and child artist Rana Mridha, who became popular on YouTube for their songs promoting education of underprivileged children in the country, lent their voices to the song.

Mahmud Hasan Tabib said: “As humanity is not limited to the confines of any one race or border, supporting the education of the oppressed Rohingya children is a responsibility for all of us. This song for Rohingya children’s education is driven by that belief. 

"I felt inspired to work with Amnesty International after learning about their work to promote the education of oppressed Rohingya children."

Excerpt from the lyrics of the Bengali song released with English subtitle reads: “If all children today are enlightened with education, the future of the world will be bright. Otherwise, it will be a mistake, injustice will increase. They will be silenced by the rage of sinners."

Thousands of Rohingya children and youth are denied access to education in the villages and towns in Myanmar as well as in places where they have sought refuge. 

The consequence of these children  growing without access to education amounts to risking them to a life of poverty and exploitation, including in some cases involvement in serious criminal activities such as drug smuggling, child trafficking, or recruitment into violent armed groups.

“Education is not at odds with repatriation. Instead, a quality education in the appropriate language and accredited curriculum can empower the Rohingya children to claim their rights, contribute to the society and the economy that they live in,” said Amnesty International South Asia Campaigner Saad Hammadi.

Nearly one million Rohingya refugees have fled their homes in Myanmar because of actions by the military in that country, many of which amounted to crimes against humanity. 

Almost half a million of these refugees are children below eighteen years, living in the threadbare camps in Cox’s Bazar, which has the lowest primary school enrolment rate in the country at 71%, and the second highest drop-out rate at 31%.

The petition

Amnesty International launched a petition in major countries across the globe in a movement calling on governments to support Bangladesh in educating the Rohingya refugees and host community children. 

A global petition also calls on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure that quality education in the appropriate language and accredited curriculum protects the diversity of social, cultural, and linguistic identity of both communities.

“As we encourage the international community to share responsibility for the crisis that has hit Bangladesh as a result of the refugee influx, using this moment to improve access to education for all children in Cox’s Bazar will be a step in a positive direction for the Government of Bangladesh,” said Saad Hammadi.