UN Highlights the Importance of Human Rights for Rohingya Refugees

On Sunday, a UN independent expert praised Bangladesh for providing a safe haven for Rohingya refugees fleeing atrocities in Myanmar, promising to do everything he can to urge for a stronger, more coordinated international response to the situation. 

The Special Rapporteur visited with refugees in Cox’s Bazar as well as those who had been moved to Bhasan Char Island during his mission. 

Mr. Andrews made a number of recommendations based on his trip, including providing security, educational opportunities, access to health care, and the construction of sustainable livelihood prospects for the Rohingya people, particularly in Bashan Char. 

The Special Rapporteur praised Bangladesh for its cooperation in accountability measures, emphasizing the need of respecting, protecting, and promoting the Rohingya people’s rights and dignity. 

During his visit to Bashan Char, a desolate silt island in the Bay of Bengal where the Government has moved approximately 19,000 refugees, the Special Rapporteur noted that “considerable resources” had been invested in building infrastructure. 

He asked Bangladesh to ensure that services that can meet the predicted demands of the expanded population, including more freedom of movement, are firmly in place before sending more migrants, citing the island’s remote location and nascent humanitarian programming. 

The UN expert applauded the pledges made in the UN Memorandum of Understanding and urged them to be implemented. 

He maintained that the international world has a responsibility to assist the Rohingya, claiming that Bangladesh cannot and should not bear this burden alone. 

He emphasized his wish to continue working as a friend with Bangladesh, to continue his reporting, and to continue his talks and involvement with the extraordinary people here. 

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva appoints Special Rapporteurs and independent experts to investigate and report on a specific human rights issue or nation condition. The posts are honorary, and the experts do not receive compensation for their services. 

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