• Wednesday, May 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:08 am

Covid-19: Rights groups call for protection of Rohingya refugees

  • Published at 04:04 pm March 30th, 2020
Rohingya
Photo shows a rohingya camp in Cox 's Bazar Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

'The mounting threat of the coronavirus disease outbreak in highly vulnerable displaced Rohingya people is a serious concern'

Three Rohingya rights groups have called upon the international community and the Myanmar government to come forward to protect Rohingya communities from the ongoing coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

In a joint statement issued on Monday, the Arakan Rohingya Union, United States Council of Muslim Organizations, and The European Rohingya Council called upon the international community to mobilize the government agencies, medical communities, and health care organizations to protect Rohingya refugee communities in South and Southeast Asia.

“The mounting threat of the coronavirus disease outbreak in highly vulnerable displaced Rohingya people is a serious concern. The Rohingya refugees in camps in Bangladesh and India, and the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Arakan or Rakhine State, Myanmar, are some of the world’s most crowded camps with little or no sanitation,” they said in the statement.

The statement also highlighted that there were currently over 1.2 million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. At the same time, over 200,000 internally displaced Rohingya and several thousand other ethnic groups live in high density squalid camps in Myanmar’s Arakan. 

“There is limited access to those IDP camps for delivery of humanitarian relief supplies,” it noted.

Noting that there were remaining some 600,000 Rohingya in villages in Arakan, the statement also raised concerns that these people have been facing serious challenges due to lack of access to medical and other essential services and various forms of restrictions on Rohingya ethic minority placed by the Myanmar government. 

“The Myanmar government officials in Sittwe Township in Arakan are reportedly providing sanitation supplies with instructions for preventive measures to Buddhist Rakhine community, but none to Rohingya,” it said.

The rights groups also urged the Bangladesh government, and other international agencies such as the World Health Organization and UNHCR to prevent the disease and address health issues in the camp areas and beyond.

“However, more needs to be done, and additional preventive measures should be implemented for the safeguard of the highly vulnerable Rohingya refugees with urgency,” it added.

Safeguarding all the communities in Arakan

In the statement, the rights groups urged the Myanmar government to swiftly implement concrete measures to safeguard all the communities in Arakan, including the Rohingya, from COVID-19 via coordination with the international agencies. 

At the same time, it also urged the Mayarman government to ensure that the military not to exploit the COVID-19 global pandemic situation against Rohingya refugees and IDPs in any form.

Internet blackout

The statement also urged the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar to lift the internet blackouts in Arakan and camp areas in Southern Bangladesh, respectively, during this global health crisis in order to disseminate COVID-19 and other health related information.

171
159
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail