Rohingya refugees need protection of their rights now more than ever
FOR A BETTER DAY
Nearly one million Rohingya refugees are living in threadbare camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, after they fled their homes in Myanmar due to the military’s crimes against humanity - which are currently the subject of a case under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide at the International Court of Justice. After four decades of persecution, they long for the better days to come for themselves and their children. But in the refugee camps their struggle to enjoy their human rights is far from over and a new virus has caused more anxiety. Here’s a look at their lives in the time of COVID-19.
Human Rights situation of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
Nearly one million Rohingya, a persecuted mostly Muslim minority in Myanmar, have fled waves of violent attacks in the country since 1978 and sought refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. The overwhelming majority of them began arriving three years ago when more than 740,000 Rohingyas fled Myanmar. For the foreseeable future, Rohingya refugees will remain in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district. This briefing provides an update on the human rights situation facing the refugees as they contend with the COVID-19 pandemic. Amnesty International calls on the government of Bangladesh to ensure the participation of Rohingya refugees in the decisions that affect them.
''Let us speak for our rights''- Human rights situation of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
International co-operation required to ensure the rights of the Rohingyas are protected
The future of nearly a million Rohingya refugees is at stake, and the pandemic is only further driving them to a life of exclusion.
The pandemic will make things worse for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh if their human rights are not protected. #RightsCantWait Tell the international community to act. Sign the petition: https://t.co/pERBjvgaGI pic.twitter.com/w59c7Dp3Hm— Amnesty International South Asia (@amnestysasia) June 25, 2020
Give Rohingya refugees voice in the decisions that affect them
Nearly one million Rohingya refugees are living in threadbare camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, after they fled their homes in Myanmar due to the military’s crimes against humanity - which are currently the subject of a case under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide at the International Court of Justice.
Now, COVID-19 has exacerbated the conditions of the Rohingya in the camps. Many Rohingya refugees struggle to access healthcare due to language barriers, ill-treatment from some medical staffs and lack of access to information about availability of healthcare services in the camps.
Women in the camps told Amnesty International that their husbands, aggrieved by the loss of opportunity to work, put pressure on them to bring in money, and were violent towards the women in the household.
More than 100 Rohingya refugees have been allegedly killed in extrajudicial executions between August 2017 and July 2020, according to Odhikar, a Bangladeshi human rights organization.
The authorities have begun construction of barbed wire fences around the camps, to curtail their movement outside the camps. In May 2020, Bangladeshi authorities took more than 300 Rohingya men, women and children to Bhashan Char, a remote silt island at the Bay of Bengal. The prolonged confinement of the refugees on the island against their will amounts to arbitrary detention and violates Bangladesh’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Authorities plan to relocate 100,000 Rohingya refugees to the island.
The future of nearly half a million Rohingya children hangs in the balance with limited access to an accredited and certified education. With no place to call their home, no livelihood opportunities to secure a future for them, hundreds of Rohingya men, women and children, take dangerous recourse to boat journeys in the sea to go to neighbouring countries every year during the break from monsoon season between October and June.
For decades, the Rohingyas in Myanmar have been denied their rights to nationality, freedom of movement and access to services including education, employment and healthcare. By promoting and protecting their human rights and dignity, the Bangladeshi government and the international community can empower the Rohingya community to claim their rights. That can only happen when they are given a voice in the decisions that affect them.
Sign the petition to urge Bangladesh’s government and the international community to:
Ensure the participation of Rohingya refugees in the decisions that affect them in order to protect their human rights.
Petitions are currently addressed to the governments of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Indonesia and the United States.
World Refugee day
Amnesty International called for submissions from Rohingya photographers to explain their lives in the time of COVID-19. Submissions arrived from Rohingya refugees as well as Bangladeshis and international photographers. A selection of those photographs is published here today on World Refugee Day 2020.
© Amnesty International
Life in the refugee camps
Life in the refugee camps
Life in the refugee camps
Rights of the Rohingya refugees
Read more about our work on Rohingya refugees across countries