DPA, 06th AUGUST, 2018- Bangladesh authorities should relocate Rohingya refugees from crowded mega-camps at risk of diseases and landslides during monsoon season, Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged Monday.
Some 700,000 minority Rohingya Muslims fled a brutal Myanmar crackdown in August 2017, joining 200,000 who had fled previous waves of violence to create the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.
With no prospect of return to Myanmar in the short term, Bangladesh should move refugees to smaller camps on safer ground with less risk of flooding and landslides and with more space to prevent communicable diseases, fires, community tensions and domestic and sexual violence, according to the report released Monday. “Bangladesh should register fleeing Rohingya as refugees, ensure adequate health care and education and let them pursue livelihoods outside the camp,” said HRW’s refugee rights director Bill Frelick, while praising Bangladesh for hosting the refugees.
Myanmar and Bangladesh in November last year signed a deal to facilitate Rohingya returns.
Bangladeshi authorities insist the camps are temporary and that Rohingya must return to Myanmar, which has prevented the construction of permanent, cyclone-proof structures.