22nd Feb 2018

Fact Finding Mission on the Situation of Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Afact-finding mission to Bangladesh was conducted from 7 to 11 December 2017 by South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) to assess the human rights concerns of the Rohingya refugees, in particular those who fled Myanmar due to violence after 25 August 2017, and the social and economic impact of their presence on Bangladesh, especially on local communities. The mission comprised Mr. Bharat Bhushan (India), Ms. Jeehan Mahmood (the Maldives), Mr. Rajendra Ghimire (Nepal), Chairperson, PPR Nepal and Ms. Sara Hossain (Bangladesh) and was led by Ms. Sultana Kamal (Bangladesh). Ms. Deekshya Illangasinghe (Sri Lanka) represented the SAHR secretariat.

The objectives of the mission was to assess the background to the present humanitarian crisis, the regional and international response to it, and highlight emerging concerns. The mission visited Kutapalong, Balukhali 1 camps, and the Hindupara area in Ukhiya and met with refugees, local residents, government officials, the police and UN agencies including the UNHCR and, IOM, and civil society, including journalists and NGOs, in Cox’s Bazar and Dhaka. This fact finding mission is the first regional South Asian initiative of its kind.

The mission came up with initial findings and urged the government of Bangladesh, government of Myanmar and other South Asian governments to come forward to share the responsibility of resolving the Rohingya refugee issue and to ensure the safe and voluntary return of the refugees with the dignity and rights due to them.

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