Rohingya refugees moved to a Bangladesh island fear they will be exposed to terrible conditions during the upcoming monsoon season, and are struggling with “inadequate” health and education facilities, a Human Rights Watch report said.
About 18,800 refugees have been moved from the Cox’s Bazar region – where approximately 850,000 people live in squalid and cramped conditions after fleeing Myanmar – to the low-lying silt island of Bhasan Char in the Bay of Bengal.
A spokesman for the prime minister’s office told the AFP news agency that another 80,000 Rohingya would be moved to the island soon.
The Bangladesh government has insisted the relocation is voluntary, and that the island is safe from cyclones and its facilities are far better than the Cox’s Bazar camps.
Commodore Abdullah Al Mamun Chowdhury, the director of Bhashan Char project, has assured that the island has enough preparation to tackle the monsoon and tidal surge.
“Bhashan Char has a total of 120 cyclone shelter centres. Each of these centres can accommodate 1,000 people and 200 cattles during a storm. Those are also being constructed in a systematic manner. I don’t think any of the refugees living here are in danger,” he told Al Jazeera.
Chowdhury also said that all the Rohingya refugees who have come to live in Bhashan Char have done so willingly. “They are not being forced to come here.”
Jun 17, 2021Registering refugees is critical to ensuring they each have access to the assistance and protection they need. It allows for the early identification of those with specific needs or vulnerabilities and their referral to the appropriate services and support. Registration also helps keep families together or reunite them if they have been separated. This is […]