By Ziaur Rahman
The Rohingya are ethnic, linguistic,and peace loving minority group who belongs to Arakan state and faced persecution by its own government and its sponsored group several times. Due to which they fled to Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Malaysia and many more countries since decades due to state sponsored violence.
Rohingya people are deprived of human rights both in Myanmar and Bangladesh.They are not recognized as citizens of Myanmar which is their own land .The ethnic minority group in Myanmar are not only victim of communal or racial,but also state sponsored violence. They have no rights of formal education in Myanmar and as well as other countries where they fled to. And moreover many remained unregistered as refugees in Bangladesh and many other countries as well.The non- registered Rohingya refugee cannot engage in any business or retail, cannot work legally and cannot be employed due to their lack of citizenship or international refugee rights and documentation.
Due to persecution in Arakan they have started their movement to Bangladesh before nearly twenty four years ago. According to UNHCR, there are almost 25000 Rohingya people in Bangladesh but only 30000 people in Kutupalong and Nayapara camp of Cox Bazar are registered refugees. UNHCR has not been permitted to register newly arriving Rohingya since mid-1992. The vast majority of Rohingya are living in villages and towns in the area and receive little or no assistance as UNHCR is only allowed to assist those who are registered. Those who have born in Bangladesh before 18 years can be given citizenship right. But it has become a burden for Bangladesh. Bangladesh is an over populated country.So giving citizenship right to all Rohingya people may not be possible. But Bangladesh should give them the Refugee right according to the UNHCR convention of 1951 from humanitarian appeal that provides basic human rights for Refugees. But Bangladesh has not signed yet to UNHCR convention of 1951.
Bangladesh is providing citizenship right and minority right to the all ethnic minor people and they have their own culture, identity, language, religion etc. They are got extra privileges (quota) form the government in university job, government job etc. But Myanmar is depriving the Rohingya people for their own self-centered objectives. Buddhist extremism in Myanmar against Muslim is a revealed fact. Following that Bangladesh as well as international community need to focus their attention to ensure citizenship right and human rights of Rohingya people in Myanmar and to repatriate Rohingya people in Myanmar from Bangladesh.
Rohingya people are in poverty, lack of quality food, education, health care etc. in Bangladesh. Bangladesh government, UNHCR and other organizations are helping the registered 30000 Rohingya people in Kutupalong and Nayapara camp. But financial and food help to the people is not sustainable strategy. If they have freedom to take higher education, to work, to involve in business they could have develop themselves in a better way.Citizenship right is one of the basic right for a human being.Without a citizenship and legal documentation,this whole minority group became deprived and barricaded to education, employment, business, free movement etc. If it is not possible to repatriate Rohingya people in Myanmar, Bangladesh needs to implement practical solution for the survival and development of the people.Following internation human rights as humans, they should not be kept in exploited and inhuman situation for long time. Bangladesh must permit UNHCR to register all Rohingyas to ensure their human rights as refugee. If all the Rohingya people are registered as refugee, national and international organization can help them and can work for their upcoming development and improvement.
Ziaur Rahman is a Rohingya Refugee Activist living in Malaysia. Views expressed here are of the author’s own. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Rohingya Vision TV. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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