Thursday, August 25, 2022

Remembering The Rohingya

  Four-year-old Yasmin, a Rohingya, has lived a life of uncertainty, unsure where she belongs. Born in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, living in India's Delhi she is unable to return to t family home in her ancestral village in Myanmar.

Yasmin's parents fled Myanmar in 2017 to escape a campaign of genocide launched by the military. Many fled to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and India, where they live as refugees.  Five years on, Rohingya Muslims - the world's largest stateless population, according to the UN - remain in limbo.

The number of refugees in camps in Bangladesh has grown to close to one million. Half of them are children. The Bangladesh government has been pushing for Rohingya Muslims to return to Myanmar. Thousands of refugees have been moved to a remote island called Bhasan Char, which refugees describe as an "island prison". Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, that the refugees in her country must return to Myanmar. Estimates vary, but refugee organisations believe there are between 10,000 and 40,000 Rohingya refugees in India. The future seems bleak. The government of India doesn't want them. No nation is willing to take in the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas. The UN says it is unsafe for them to return home because of the conflict in Myanmar. 

According to a recent UN assessment, cuts in international funding have added to the challenges for a population that remains "fully reliant on humanitarian assistance for survival". The UN said the refugees continue to struggle to get nutritious food, adequate shelter and sanitation, and opportunities to work.  Education is also a big challenge. There are concerns of a lost generation, who aren't getting decent schooling.

 The Rohingya people dream of being able to return home. Until things are safe for them to do so, they are pleading with the world for more assistance and compassion.

Rohingya crisis: Has the world forgotten the stateless refugees? - BBC News

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