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Six-member UN delegation visits Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar


Published : 16 Aug 2022 08:17 PM

A six-member delegation led by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet visited the Rohingya camp in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar.

During the four-hour visit, the delegation, led by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was apprised of the current law and order situation in the Rohingya camps, including gender-based violence. However, the members of the delegation did not speak to the media.

Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Samchu-Ddouja Nayan said that the delegation led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights arrived at the registration center of UNHCR at the No. 4 Rohingya Camp in Madhurchara, Ukhia, at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Members of the delegation including Michelle Bachelet stayed there for 10 minutes to inspect the Rohingya registration process and talk to the Rohingyas. After that he went to visit the activities of the distribution center of UNHCR in that camp. He stayed there for 10 minutes and talked with the Rohingyas as well as those responsible for the distribution.

After that, at 10 am, went to visit the Women Center of C-Block of Rohingya Camp No. 4. During this time, he spoke with 20 women about gender-based violence and the environmental conditions of the camp.

Amena Khatun, one of the women who participated in the discussion, said that the delegation led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights wanted to know about gender-based violence and the environmental conditions of the camp. The women informed the delegation that gender-based violence in the camps is now less than ever before. Kidnapping and rape of women, physical torture has decreased. However, women are still afraid due to some problems. For this, he demanded to increase the activity of the law and order forces.

Gol Bahar, another woman who participated in the discussion with the delegation, said that Rohingyas will return to their homeland if they are recognized with the same civil rights as other ethnic groups in Myanmar.

Meanwhile, at 10:30 a.m., the delegation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights visited the BRAC Community Center of the extended Rohingya camp number four. There, the members of the delegation talked to 9 religious leaders and 9 youths about various issues including the repatriation of Rohingyas and the law and order situation of the camp.

Maulvi Nazir Ahmad, who participated in the discussion, informed the delegation about the development of the situation in Myanmar, the desire to return to their homeland if Rohingya rights are guaranteed. Expressing gratitude for providing asylum in Bangladesh, he demanded to discuss with Myanmar and take the initiative of repatriation as soon as possible.

Youth Mohammad Yusuf said that the delegation wants to know about the law and order situation. The delegates were briefed on the overall situation including camp-based organized crime activities, murders, kidnappings, ransoms, drug trade. 

Some identified criminal gangs were also informed of their involvement in such misdeeds and demanded action against them.

Rohingya religious leader Hafez Rashid Ahmad, who participated in the discussion with the members of the delegation, said that the Rohingyas are still not convinced about taking their civil rights to their homeland in the ongoing process of repatriation. The Rohingya will not return to Myanmar except under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Later, at 11:30 am, the members of the delegation headed by Michel Baselet went to visit the International Organization for Migration (IOM) tree planting program at Rohingya Extended Camp No. 20. There he inspected the project activities at the field level. Later, the project stakeholders exchanged views. Finally, at 12:30 pm, the members of the delegation went to visit the learning center of Rohingya extended camp number 4. There he had a long talk with the Rohingya children and teachers as well as those concerned with the education program.

Then at 1 pm, the delegation of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights led by Michel Baselet left the Rohingya camp for Cox's Bazar. The delegation reached Cox's Bazar and held a meeting with the officials of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissi­oner's office at 2 pm.

In addition to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, OHCHR Head of Asia Pacific Section Rory Mongoven, OHCHR Spok­esperson Ravina Shamda­sani, OHCHR Media Expert Anthony Everett Headley, UNRCO Senior Human Rights Adviser in Dhaka Huma Khan and National Human Rights Officer Zahid Hossain are in the delegation.

After the meeting at the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commi­ssioner's office, the 6-member delegation led by Michelle Bachelet will return to Dhaka by plane at 4 pm.