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Pragmatic alternative needed to protect Rohingya rights

Speakers tell webinar

FE Report | July 15, 2021 00:00:00

Speakers at a webinar on Wednesday observed that pragmatic alternative needs to be explored to protect the rights of Rohingya community and ensure their dignified return over the geopolitical interests of major powers in the region.

Bangladesh and the world community need to take stock of the situation and plan for a longer period to manage Rohingya refugee crisis as the disaster of displacement of the community is entering the fifth year, opined the speakers.

The national and international experts think that the refugee community needs to have vocational training useful in the labour market for meaningful lives.

The speakers also suggested the government of Bangladesh should take initiatives to find out reasons of growing antipathy between host community and Rohingyas and take measure to minimise it.

The webinar titled The Solutions to Large, Complex and Protracted Crisis, Lessons from the Rohingya Refugee Response was jointly organised by Innovision Consulting Private Limited, ICCO Bangladesh, CARE Bangladesh and North South University in association with The Financial Express.

The event is being organised as part of the integrated dialogue campaign 'The Bangladesh Miracle- Celebrating 50 years of Development Progress of Bangladesh'.

Speaking as panelist, Professorial Fellow of North South University (NSU) Shahidul Haque said Bangladesh government and its people served this region's stability immensely by hosting the displaced Rohingya community in the country.

He said the Rohingya exodus to Bangladesh is not one off event; the world knows it for quite some time and the crisis is humanitarian disaster, human rights catastrophe and geopolitical game.

Mr Haque, who is a former foreign secretary of Bangladesh government, said according to Ambassador Rosenthal report United Nations has failed terribly to stop a genocide in Myanmar which was predictable.

He said even some of the UN agencies do not still use the word "genocide".

"I have seen how UN has taken off its hands from the right issues of Rohingya community in the name of staying in Myanmar," he said, describing his experience.

Mr Haque said recent geopolitical interests of major power have overshadowed the Rohingya rights.

All parties concerned need to find out pragmatic alternatives to ensure larger stability, peace and freedom in Rakhaine as well as safe and dignified return of Rohingya to their homeland, he added.

Representative of UNHCR Representation in Bangladesh Johannes Van der Klaauw said rights of education and work should be given to Rohingya refugees.

All the education centers are closed in Bangladesh at this moment, but education centers should be last to be closed and first to be opened, he added.

Adviser for the Rohingya Refugee Response for USAID Bangladesh Marsha Michel said there is growing concern regarding deteriorating situation in refugee camps in Cox's Bazar and Bhasanchar.

Humanitarian response to Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar is in dire need of a new strategy, he added.

Deputy Emergency Coordinator of WFP Bangladesh Kojiro Nakai said good relation between humanitarian community and government of Bangladesh is a key managing efficiently the refugees.

He scored on the need of assistance to host community across the Cox's Bazar as along with refugees as Covid-19 impacted their lives and livelihoods as well.

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