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Before they can safely return home

  • Published at 01:43 am June 20th, 2018
  • Last updated at 03:06 pm June 20th, 2018
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Photo: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh cannot be sent back without an assurance

Today is World Refugee Day -- a day to remember and fight for the rights of refugees all over the world.

The Rohingya crisis created by Myanmar rages on, as Bangladesh does all it can to provide food, shelter, and health care for the nearly one million Rohingya who have fled to refugee camps this side of the border -- and the main solution that emerges from this picture is repatriation.

Let us make no mistake: The Rohingya have every right to return to their homeland, but first, there must be a guarantee of safety.

This means the repatriation process needs to be conducted with full transparency, dignity, and safety. 

Kudos to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein for holding firm to the stance that repatriation cannot take place in the absence of sustained human rights monitoring on the ground. 

We hope the UN steps up and puts the necessary pressure on Myanmar to allow this scrutiny, and to let in the UN as well as various other human rights organizations to come in to help with and monitor the situation of the Rohingya.

If Myanmar has nothing to hide, this should not be a problem.

Having already faced the most terrible persecution, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh cannot be sent back without some form of assurance. 

We dream of a better world for refugees all over the world -- people who find themselves persecuted and stateless for no reason other than for the circumstances of their birth, and no other refugee crisis has the scale and urgency of the Rohingya crisis at our very own borders.

We must ensure proper and sustained human rights monitoring before they can safely return home.