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Australia urges Myanmar to act on Rohingya crisis

  • Published at 12:50 pm August 27th, 2018
Over 700,000 Rohingyas entered Bangaldesh fleeing the violence which erupted in Myanmar on August 25, 2017 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The crisis has displaced 900,000 Rohingyas in Bangladesh

The Australian High Commission has urged Myanmar to act on the human rights violations of  Rohingyas who fled to Bangladesh to escape the violence in Rakhine state.

The resulting Rohingya crisis is this region’s largest humanitarian emergency– with over 900,000 displaced Rohingya in need in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. More than 530,000 remain in Rakhine State in Myanmar.

Many are women and children, who have survived sexual and gender-based violence, have lost family members, and have no means to support their most basic human needs without international assistance. 

On the occasion of the one-year anniversary of Rohingya migration, the Australian High Commission issued a press release, commending the Bangladeshi government for its generous response to the crisis and for hosting such a large displaced population.

The high commission also highlighted that Australia is focused on the plight of the Rohingyas and affected communities in Bangladesh and Myanmar. So far, the country has provided $70 million of humanitarian assistance to Rakhine state—and food, shelter, clean water, and essential health services to Cox's Bazar.

The needs of women and children, who remain vulnerable to violence and exploitation – including trafficking – are prioritized by Australia, the press release said.

The country thanks UN agencies and NGOs for their tireless work, and emphasized the need for full, unhindered, humanitarian access. 

The press release mentions Australia's call for justice for those who have suffered, and points-out Australia's support for the UN Fact Finding Mission, and its independent investigation. It will respond to the mission’s  final report when presented at the Human Rights Council in September. 

The high commission said Australia welcomes the establishment of Myanmar’s Commission of Enquiry, and encourages Myanmar to engage with the findings of the UN Fact Finding Mission and any other evidence of abuses. 

The press release mentioned that Myanmar has taken an important first step in agreeing to work with the UNDP and UNHCR, through an MOU to create conditions, in Rakhine State, conducive to repatriation. 

Australia calls on Myanmar to allow UN agencies the full access they need to implement this effectively. The high commission also honoured the late Kofi Annan for renewing efforts to implement the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State—which he led.