Dhaka Bureau Policy Times: The United Nations (UN) today urged Bangladesh government to keep its commitment that relocation of forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar camps to Bashan Char island will be voluntary.
“The (Bangladesh) Government has indicated that (Rohingyas) movements to the island (Bashan Char) will be voluntary, and the United Nations calls on the (Bangladesh) Government to respect this important commitment,” UN Bangladesh office said in a statement today.
The UN highlights its longstanding position that Rohingya refugees must be able to make a free and informed decision about relocating to Bhasan Char based upon relevant, accurate and updated information, said the statement.
The UN has also emphasised that Rohingyas who choose to move to Bhasan Char should have basic rights and services on the island, which would include effective freedom of movement to and from the mainland, as well as access to education, health care, and livelihood opportunities.
Since the Bangladesh government announced the Bhasan Char project, the statement said the United Nations has offered to engage in constructive consultations aimed at better understanding the plan and considering with the government the most critical policy, process and operational issues.
“The United Nations remains willing to continue this dialogue,” it said adding that the UN has also consistently maintained that any relocation to Bhasan Char should be preceded by comprehensive technical protection assessments.
The UN remains focused on supporting the Government’s leading role in delivering an effective and efficient humanitarian programme for the nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees living in the Cox’s Bazar settlements, while also intensively working toward solutions for them, including through their safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return to Myanmar.
The UN appreciates the generosity and humanitarian spirit of the government and people of Bangladesh in offering safety and shelter to the Rohingyas and remains committed to UN partnership in a humanitarian response that has saved many thousands of lives and supported many more.
Bangladesh government is set to relocate first batch of Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar to Bhasan Char in the Bay of Bengal this month, official sources said.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and most of them arrived there since August 25, 2017 after the military crackdown at their homeland.
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