Bangladesh and the Rohingya crisis

Rabiul Hasan, Reporter/SCC

Bangladesh is experiencing a difficult time due to its recent influx of thousands of Rohingya people from Myanmar.

They are undergoing incomprehensible misery and sufferings in one of the largest refugee concentration camps in the world. Feeding, sheltering, and providing medical access to those people has become a difficult task for Bangladesh as the country itself is one of the most densely populated nations in the world.

In recent days, the prime minister and president of Bangladesh has denounced the crackdown and urged the Myanmar government to take their people back. In response to that, they told they will only repatriate those with correct documentation showing that they are from Rakhain state.

In fact, how Bangladesh deals with this problem will largely determine the future of Rohingya people whether they can go back to their normal lives. The reason why Bangladesh is important to them is their prospect of going back to Myanmar anytime soon is uncertain.

In a New York Times article titled “Pressure Rises at U.N. on Myanmar Over Rohingya Crisis,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at security council meeting called the refuge crisis “a human right nightmare.”

UN American Ambassador Nikki Haley gave a remark regarding the actions of the Burmese authorities.

“We cannot be afraid to call the actions of the Burmese authorities what they appear to be: a brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority,” Haley said.

The World Food Program, Doctors Without Borders, Save The Children, UNICEF, and the International Rescue Committee have all responded to the crisis and set up relief centers in the refugee camps. In addition, civic and religious organizations from Bangladesh have extended their help for Rohingya.

Nasrin Khan, a volunteer from Bangladesh, was interviewed by Northeast Valley News.

“It is hard to deal with so many refugees, and lack of food and insufficient support have become problem,” Khan said.

What has really compounded the problem is the humanitarian crisis in refugee concentration. A Washington Post article posted on Sept. 26 reports that children constitute almost 60% of 480,000 people who fled Myanmar to escape military crackdown in recent weeks.

We spoke with Abdullah al Noman, a volunteer for Helping Hand for Bangladesh, about what they think about the crisis.

“It is a humanitarian crisis with huge people concentrated in a small place,” Noman said.

In an effort to address this problem, Social Welfare Ministry of Bangladesh has taken steps to build separate shelter for 6000 children who came to Bangladesh without their parents and nearly 1580 children have already been registered. It is really understandable children without their parents may be harmed or involved with criminal activities which might jeopardize the security of Bangladesh and beyond. They may be subject to human trafficking, child abuse, sexual abuse, and child marriage and so on.

For them now, access to humanitarian facilities has become the topmost priority. Bangladesh is planning to give them a refugee status so that it becomes easier to identify for aid giving agencies.