Restrictions on Rohingya Camps Intensified: Human Rights Watch
Officials have arbitrarily destroyed thousands of shops while imposing new obstacles on travel within the camps in Cox’s Bazar, denying the Rohingya the ability to live freely and independently.
"Bangladesh is understandably burdened with hosting nearly one million Rohingya refugees, but cutting them off from opportunities to work and study is only compounding their vulnerability and dependence on aid," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a media release on Monday.
"The Bangladesh government should formalize and expand employment opportunities to bolster the Rohingya’s self-reliance and enable them to support their families and communities," Ganguly added.
Human Rights Watch, in February and March 2022, spoke with 13 Rohingya refugees who described how the new restrictions have prevented them from being able to provide for their families, give their children an education, or build communities.
According to Human Rights Watch, refugees and humanitarian groups fear the recent dire restrictions are part of the government’s efforts to coerce refugees to relocate to Bhasan Char or repatriate to Myanmar.
Bangladesh authorities have already moved about 22,000 Rohingya to the remote, flood-prone island, where they face severe movement restrictions, food and medicine shortages, and abuses by security forces.
Many have been transferred without full, informed consent, and have been prevented from returning to the mainland.
Meanwhile, the 2022 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, which is requesting US$875 million, is thus far unfunded.
"The US, UK, and other donors should help ensure that Rohingya refugees have access to education, employment, and other necessary tools for rebuilding their lives," Ganguly said.
"It’s critical for governments to work together to address these issues and show solidarity with the Rohingya in the face of the Myanmar junta’s mounting crimes," Ganguly concluded.
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