UK to work for sustainable resolution to Rohingya crisis
UNB, Coxâ€™s Bazar :
The United Kingdom (UK) said that it will continue working for a sustainable resolution to the situation in Rakhine to end the Rohingya crisis, with a countrywide focus on freedom of expression and preventing sexual violence in conflict.
The Rohingya minority continued to fear for their safety, lacking protection against vigilante attacks and theft of property and fled to Bangladesh at an average rate of 1,733 per month, according to the FCO 2018 Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report (AHRR).
The UNHCR estimated that the Rohingya population in Bangladesh increased by a further 14,649 during the period between January and October, according to UK report released recently, reports UNB.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.2 million Rohingyas, the majority of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017. "Bangladesh showed great generosity in welcoming the Rohingya refugees and conditions in the refugee camps in Cox's Bazar improved in comparison with the start of the crisis in August 2017," the report reads.
However, the report says, risks remained, including that of sexual violence, trafficking, violent crime, abduction, exploitation, and limited access to basic services for men, women and children in the camps. It said challenging conditions and issues relating to their legal status under Bangladeshi law meant that access to justice and security remained limited.
The UK committed an additional Â£70 million through UN agencies and NGOs, prioritising the protection of rights, including essential documentation, child protection, anti-trafficking measures, case management for survivors of abuse and exploitation, and legal assistance services. The total UK commitment is Â£129 million.The report mentioned that the human rights situation in Myanmar remained poor in 2018.
In addition to abuses and violations suffered by the Rohingya, human rights violations were committed by the Burmese security forces across the country, including in Shan, Chin, and Kachin states, it said. "Lack of accountability for these crimes remained a concern," said the UK report. It said widespread gender inequality persisted, with women severely underrepresented in public life.
Freedom of expression continued to be restricted, as shown by the sentencing of two Reuters journalists in November, and the arrest of others who have criticised the civilian government or the military. In September, the UN Independent International Fact Finding Mission (FFM) published its report on the situation in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states.