Bangladesh and UN sign MoU on relocation of Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char island
- The Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations signed an MoU for the relocation of Rohingya refugees to the newly developed facility at the Bhasan Char Island.
- The MoU sets out the policy framework of services and common protection for the Rohingya humanitarian response on the island.
- The MoU recognises the generosity of the government of Bangladesh for hosting almost 9 lakh Rohingya refugees in the country
- It allows for close cooperation between the Bangladesh government and the UN to provide services and activities for the benefit of the increasing number of Rohingya refugees living on the island.
- It covers key areas of protection, education, skill development, training, livelihood and health which will help prepare them for sustainable return to Myanmar in the future.
- The UN said that the support should continue until refugees are able to return to Myanmar in a safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable manner which remains the shared priority of the UN and government of Bangladesh.
- Bhashan char is an uninhabited Island which has been developed at a cost of Tk 3100 crore as a relocation centre for refugees currently living in the refugee camps at Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh.
- It has a capacity to accommodate approximately1 lakh Rohingya refugees.
- Earlier several environmental groups expressed concern over the fragile ecological situation on the island which emerged less than 20 years back from the sea. They point out the threat of cyclone, erosion and other natural disasters for the people who will live on the Island.
- Till now close to 20,000 Rohingya refugees have already been settled on the Bhashan Char Island by the government.
- The Rohingya are an ethnic group, the majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar.
- They were not granted full citizenship by Myanmar.
- Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya in the Southeast Asian country.
- The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct to others spoken throughout Myanmar.
- They are not considered one of the country’s 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.
Source : All India Radio