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Burmese refugees in Bangladesh

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Myanmar: Scorched-earth campaign fuels ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Rakhine State
Date of publication: 14 September 2017
Description/subject: "More than 80 sites set ablaze in orchestrated campaign since 25 August... More than 370,000 Rohingya fled across border in less than three weeks... Testimonies show attacks were planned, deliberate and systematic... Amnesty International can reveal new evidence pointing to a mass-scale scorched-earth campaign across northern Rakhine State, where Myanmar security forces and vigilante mobs are burning down entire Rohingya villages and shooting people at random as they try to flee. The organization’s analysis of active fire-detection data, satellite imagery, photographs and videos from the ground, as well as interviews with dozens of eyewitnesses in Myanmar and across the border in Bangladesh, shows how an orchestrated campaign of systematic burnings has targeted Rohingya villages across northern Rakhine State for almost three weeks. “The evidence is irrefutable – the Myanmar security forces are setting northern Rakhine State ablaze in a targeted campaign to push the Rohingya people out of Myanmar. Make no mistake: this is ethnic cleansing,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director..." Additional articles and images
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: NOTE TO EDITORS:
Satellite imagery and maps showing the extent of burnings inside Rakhine State are available for download at: https://app.box.com/s/y126upmuuityz1weygmqom0z7sdi7but

Still images illustrating fleeing Rohingya and the growing humanitarian crisis across the border in Bangladesh are available for download at: https://app.box.com/s/c8g2ox6oy1pkrlevs590pw9enjdpsl74

Public Document
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Date of entry/update: 15 September 2017


Title: Kaladan News website - news archive
Date of publication: 20 December 2010
Description/subject: Many stories about the Rohingya back to January 2006
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kaladan Press Network
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.kaladanpress.org/v3/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=83&Itemid=41
Date of entry/update: 20 December 2010


Title: "Myanmar" from drop-down menu on Refworld
Description/subject: * Country Information (527)... * Legal Information (65)... * Policy Documents (8)... * Reference Documents (16)....The legal Information includes refugee and case law as well as national legislation relating to refugees. The case law will be very useful for people bringing asylum cases.
Language: English, French
Source/publisher: UNHCR
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2009


Title: "Bangladesh" from drop-down menu in Refworld
Description/subject: * Country Information (997)... * Legal Information (94)... * Policy Documents (8)... * Reference Documents (7).....The Legal Information includes case law and refugee appeals, which may be useful for those preparing asylum cases.
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNHCR
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 February 2009


Title: Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO)
Description/subject: "According to the 1947 Constitution, a group of people who entered Burma before 1825 and settled in a defined territory are also indigenous race of Burma. This clause was especially written for Rohingya people, said Dr. Aye Maung, one of the author of the 1947 constitution. Accordingly U Nu government recognized Rohingya as an indigenous race of Burma..." Keywords: Islam, Muslim, stateless. Big, flashy site with lots of content.
Language: English
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Kaladan News -- Online Burma Library archive 2002-2005
Description/subject: Many stories on the Rohingya
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kaladan Press Network
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 January 2009


Title: MSF's reports and press releases on refugees in Bangladesh
Description/subject: Mainly the Rohingyas
Language: English
Source/publisher: Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2009


Title: Refugees International Bangladesh page
Description/subject: Useful, well-designed page, with background, summaries of the political and humanitarian situation, refugee voices etc., with reports stragely headed "policy recommendations"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Refugees International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 May 2005


Title: Refugees International Myanmar page
Description/subject: Useful, well-designed page, with background, reports, advocacy letters, congressional testimony and the shorter reports under the heading of "Policy Recommendations"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Refugees International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 May 2005


Title: Results of a local search for "Rohingya" on the Forced Migration Online digital library
Description/subject: Documents from 1992-2011
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forced Migration Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 November 2014


Individual Documents

Title: Mission report of OHCHR rapid response mission to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh 13-24 September 2017
Date of publication: 11 October 2017
Description/subject: "...Credible information indicates that the Myanmar security forces purposely destroyed the property of the Rohingyas, scorched their dwellings and entire villages in northern Rakhine State, not only to drive the population out in droves but also to prevent the fleeing Rohingya victims from returning to their homes. The destruction by the Tatmadaw of houses, fields, food-stocks, crops, livestock and even trees, render the possibility of the Rohingya returning to normal lives and livelihoods in the future in northern Rakhine almost impossible. It also indicates an effort to effectively erase all signs of memorable landmarks in the geography of the Rohingya landscape and memory in such a way that a return to their lands would yield nothing but a desolate and unrecognizable terrain. Information received also indicates that the Myanmar security forces targeted teachers, the cultural and religious leadership, and other people of influence in the Rohingya community in an effort to diminish Rohingya history, culture and knowledge..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Format/size: pdf (125K-reduced version; 772K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/MM/CXBMissionSummaryFindingsOctober2017.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 October 2017


Title: October 2017 Assessment Report: Undocumented Myanmar Nationals Influx to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Date of publication: 10 October 2017
Description/subject: "The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Relief International (RI) carried out a multi - sector assessment between September 29 and October 3, 2017 with the aim of better understanding the priority needs of the influx of Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMN) – Rohingya – in Bangladesh, as well as the locations in which assistance is most needed from the humanitarian community. To date, an estimated 515,000 UMN have fled violence in Myanmar for Bangladesh. 1 With the influx of additional people seeking asylum, the makeshift settlements have expanded and the needs of the displaced population has changed as the demographics shifted. Th is needs assessment focused on recently arrived UMN in the four most affected Upazilas in Cox’s Bazar: Ukhia, Teknaf, Ramu, and Cox’s Bazar Sadar. The assessment used the following methods: cluster sampling to survey families, key informant interviews with medical and education professionals (notably, among the displaced population), observations in selected surve y sites, health facility assessments, and a rapid market assessment in Cox's Bazar. Of particular note, the findings include:  The three most commonly reported needs were money (73% ), household goods and non - food items (61%) and food (52%).  Over 3/4 of t he surveyed population relies on food security coping strategies, including opting for less preferred and less expensive foods (90%), reducing number of meals eaten in a day (69%), and restricting consumption by adults in order for small children to eat (68%). In addition, food consumption scores are extremely poor.  Nearly one - third of fami lies surveyed reported open defecation, and key informants noted the cleanliness of public latrines among major concerns in their areas of the sites surveyed.  Nearly half of all pregnant women have not received medical care for their pregnancies and 41% of families with pregnant women do not know where to go for medical care for pregnant women.  Observations during the assessment noted harmful practices in supporting survivors of gender - based violence (GBV) , including men working in women’s safe spaces, iden tifiable GBV sign posts without the necessary discretion required, and men exposing survivors to the community. 1 International Organization on Migration. Bangladesh Rohingya Crisis Response. Situation Report. October 5, 2017 . https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/IOM%20Bangladesh%20 - %20Rohingya%20Influx%20Situation%20Report%20 - %2005%20October%202017.pdf Assessment Report: Undocumented Myanmar Nationals Influx to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh October 7, 2017 BANGLADESH ASSESMENT REPORT | 2 The following report outlines the methodology as well as key findings and recommendations for the sectors of health, WASH, education, cash assistance , protection, food security, and shelter and NFIs..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rescue Committee (IRC), Relief International
Format/size: pdf (346K-reduced version; 443K- original)
Alternate URLs: October 2017 Assessment Report:
Undocumented Myanmar Nationals
Influx to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
https://www.rescue.org/
Date of entry/update: 12 October 2017


Title: The Hard Truth Is Rohingya Refugees Are Not Going Home
Date of publication: 06 October 2017
Description/subject: "The only likely outcome of the crisis is the near-permanent presence of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya along the Bangladesh border...The harrowing scenes of human suffering on the Myanmar–Bangladesh border have provoked outpourings of sympathy and some firm statements by international politicians. At least half a million people have been brutally expelled from their homes and are now living in miserable conditions in muddy refugee camps and storm-drenched shanty towns. As the international community debates how to respond, it needs to take a clear-eyed view of the situation and recognise a brutal truth: the refugees are almost certainly not going home. Consequently, policymakers must not hide behind the fiction that Bangladesh is only temporarily hosting the refugees in preparation for their rapid return home. Over-optimistic assumptions now will lead to worse misery in the long term. Instead, the world needs to plan on the basis that Bangladesh will be hosting a very large and permanent refugee population..."
Author/creator: Bill Hayton
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chatham House
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2017


Title: Burma: Military Massacres Dozens in Rohingya Village. Soldiers Shot, Stabbed Men and Boys in Maung Nu, Rakhine State
Date of publication: 04 October 2017
Description/subject: "Since August 25, Burmese security forces have been carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State. Over half a million Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape killings, arson, and other mass atrocities. The Rohingya, effectively denied citizenship under Burmese law, have faced decades of repression and discrimination. About 120,000 remain internally displaced from waves of violence in 2012 and 2016, in dire humanitarian conditions. Human Rights Watch researchers are reporting from the field on the crisis and its global impact.....Children's Rights ...Refugees and Migrants ...Refugee Rights... Asylum Seekers ...Internally Displaced People... United Nations... Women's Rights... Sexual Violence and Rape ...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: https://www.hrw.org/blog-feed/rohingya-crisis
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2017


Title: Bangladesh Prime Minister condemns mine use in Myanmar, Mine Ban Treaty President calls for Fact-Finding Mission
Date of publication: 23 September 2017
Description/subject: "Yesterday, 21 September 2017, at the United Nations General Assembly, Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, stated, “We are horrified to see that the Myanmar authorities are laying landmines along their stretch of the border to prevent the Rohingya from returning to Myanmar. These people must be able to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity.” "
Author/creator: bmban
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mine Free Myanmar
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2017


Title: Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, Speech At UNGA United Nations
Date of publication: 21 September 2017
Description/subject: The first 7 minutes are abut the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
Language: English (translation)
Source/publisher: UN General Assembly
Format/size: Adobe Flash or html5 (17 minutes)
Date of entry/update: 22 September 2017


Title: Myanmar Statement to the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly
Date of publication: 20 September 2017
Description/subject: "Henry Van Thio, Vice President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, addresses the general debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 19 - 25 September 2017)."...Mostly dealing with the current situation in Rakhine State and the Government's responses
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations General Assembly
Format/size: Adobe Flash or html5
Date of entry/update: 21 September 2017


Title: Rohingya Documentary: ‘A boy with no name for a people with no identity’
Date of publication: 18 September 2017
Description/subject: "Almost 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have now fled the violence in Myanmar in the last three weeks, including 240,000 children. Refugee camps across the border in Bangladesh are overflowing, and aid agencies fear it could get worse, warning up to a million could flee. Jonathan Miller has been in the region to see it all first hand."
Author/creator: Jonathan Miller (presenter)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Channel 4 News
Format/size: Adobe Flash or html5
Date of entry/update: 23 September 2017


Title: Suu Kyi has ‘a last chance’ to stop army offensive in Rohingya crisis: UN
Date of publication: 17 September 2017
Description/subject: "UN chief Antonio Guterres says Myanmar’s de-facto head of state Aung San Suu Kyi has ‘a last chance’ to stop the military crackdown on Rakhine state and ease the Rohingya crisis, the BBC reports. "If she does not reverse the situation now, then I think the tragedy will be absolutely horrible, and unfortunately then I don't see how this can be reversed in the future," the UN secretary general said during an interview with BBC’s HARDtalk programme. Guterres reiterated that the Rohingyas should be allowed to return to Myanmar. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has called the situation a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Observer Online Desk
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 September 2017


Title: Landmines on Myanmar/Burma-Bangladesh border & the flight of the Rohingya
Date of publication: 12 September 2017
Description/subject: "...Some of the current wave of refugees have stepped on landmines during their attempts to leave Myanmar. International news agencies and human rights organizations have stated that they have witness testimony of new use of landmines by Myanmar’s Armed Forces along the NRS-Bangladesh border, and this has reportedly led to the issue being raised with Myanmar by Bangladesh authorities.,, UPDATE 19 SEPTEMBER 2017 "The ICBL/Landmine Monitor has verified that recent mine victims were from newly laid mines. On 28 of August, humanitarian workers providing relief to refugees camped on the Zero line of the border witnessed an Army truck arrive on the Myanmar side and unload three boxes from which soldiers took mines and placed in the ground. This continued on that day from 10am until 3pm. The mines were laid commencing in Taung Pyo Let Yar village tract of Maungdaw Township, which is adjacent to border pillar No. 31 in Bangladesh. This area demarcates the beginning of the land border between Bangladesh and Myanmar, as south of this area the border follows the Naf River.New mine use was witnessed along about a 20km stretch of the shared border between Burma and Banladesh. This stretch lies between the two main land crossing routes between Burma (Maungdaw township) and Bangladesh (Bandarban District). Subsequent to the daytime landmine operation, the Burmese Army brought trucks at night to continue laying mines, which could be seen under the lights by which they worked. Mine laying continued during the next few days, and was witnessed progressing along the border to the northeast in Mee Taik, Nga Yant Chaung, Hlaing Thi, Bauk Shu Hpweit and In Tu Lar townships. Mine laying was last seen continuing to the east of In Tu Lar township. All mines were laid on the eastern side of the border fence."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mine Free Myanmar
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2017


Title: Guterres: 'Pressure needed to stop Myanmar carnage' (video clip)
Date of publication: September 2017
Description/subject: "Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has "a last chance" to halt an army offensive that has forced hundreds of thousands of the mainly Muslim Rohingya to flee abroad, the UN head has said. Antonio Guterres told the BBC's Hardtalk programme that unless she acted now, "the tragedy will be absolutely horrible". The full interview with Antonio Gutteres will be broadcast on BBC World News on Monday, 18 September at 03:30, 08:30; 14:30 and 19:30 (all times GMT)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: BBC - Hardtalk (clip)
Format/size: Adobe Flash or html5
Date of entry/update: 17 September 2017


Title: How Myanmar's Buddhists view Rohingya crisis (video)
Date of publication: September 2017
Description/subject: + 2 more videos
Language: English
Source/publisher: BBC
Format/size: Adobe Flash or html5
Date of entry/update: 17 September 2017


Title: Cyclone Brings Destruction to Burma Refugee Camps in Bangladesh
Date of publication: 30 May 2017
Description/subject: "COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh — A cyclone battered refugee camps in Bangladesh on Tuesday where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Burma have taken refuge from violence at home, as authorities moved at least 350,000 Bangladeshis out of harm’s way. Cyclone Mora struck the island of Saint Martin and Teknaf in the coastal Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazar, where officials said some 200,000 people were evacuated to shelters. In Chittagong district, about 150,000 people were evacuated..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Reuters via "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html (57K)
Alternate URLs: https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/128989.html
Date of entry/update: 31 May 2017


Title: Bangladesh proposes interning, repatriating up to 270K Rohingya to Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 November 2014
Description/subject: "...Bangladesh has outlined proposals to intern thousands of undocumented Rohingya before repatriation to Myanmar, which they fled because of targeted violence and systematic discrimination, an official Foreign Ministry document obtained by Al Jazeera America reveals. An estimated 270,000 stateless Rohingya live in overcrowded camps, on the outskirts of already impoverished townships, finding shelter in locals’ homes or using plastic sheeting and bamboo to construct huts in forests. An additional 30,000 have official status as refugees, living in U.N.-run camps but lack freedom of movement and the right to employment. Dhaka announced a new national strategy for the undocumented Rohingya in February but has refused to make the details public. An International Organization for Migration (IOM) official provided the Foreign Ministry’s summary of key proposals to Al Jazeera America. The document, dated March 31, 2014, reads, “It has been suggested that a survey/listing of undocumented Myanmar nationals in Bangladesh would be carried out in order to identify them and determine their actual number and location … The listed individuals would be housed in temporary shelters in different suitable locations pending their repatriation to Myanmar through regular diplomatic/consular channels.”..."
Author/creator: Nigel O'Connor
Language: English
Source/publisher: Aljazeera
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 November 2014


Title: Rohingyas: Asylum seekers, not infiltrators
Date of publication: 26 June 2012
Description/subject: "The Rohingya issue has received a fair degree of media coverage over the last few weeks. Admittedly, voices in favour of granting admission were far outweighed by those sharing the government's position of denying admission. While the former based their case on moral and legal grounds, the latter's case has been shaped by, what one may say, misguided notion of state interest and unsound understanding of the international human rights and refugee laws. Politicians, pundits and policy makers belonging to the latter group have put several reasons in justifying their position. This brief essay will examine the efficacy of their reasoning..."
Author/creator: C.R. Abrar
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Daily Star" (Bangladesh)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 24 December 2012


Title: Bangladesh: The Silent Crisis
Date of publication: 19 April 2011
Description/subject: Introduction: "The Rohingya ethnic minority of Burma are trapped between severe repression in their homeland and abuse in neighboring countries. Bangladesh has hosted hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas fleeing persecution for more than three decades, but at least 200,000 Rohingya refugees have no legal rights there. They live in squalor, receive very limited aid and are subject to arrest, extortion and detention. Unregistered refugee women and girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual and physical attacks. The international community must urge the Bangladeshi government to register undocumented refugees and improve protection for all vulnerable Rohingyas. Donor governments must also work to restart and increase resettlement of refugees to a third country and increase assistance for communities hosting refugees."
Author/creator: Lynn Yoshikawa and Melanie Teff
Language: English
Source/publisher: Refugees International
Format/size: html, pdf (NOT WORKING)
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2011


Title: The Unwelcoming Committee
Date of publication: September 2010
Description/subject: Resentment of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh is giving rise to highly organized and increasingly vocal resistance to their presence... "Sitting on a dusty balcony outside the local district office in Ukhia in southern Bangladesh, a group of smartly dressed men take turns speaking their mind. One man, taller than the average Bangladeshi, stands up. Throwing his fist in the air, he states the group’s objective. Rohingya children in Bangladesh face a bleak future. (Photo: Yuzo/ The Irrawaddy) “Those bloody naughty people, they destroy the environment, upset local law and order and sell drugs,” he says. “They must all go back to Burma.” The rest of the group nod their heads and wave their hands to compete for the next opportunity to speak. Two things have brought this group of men together: grievances against Rohingya refugees who have settled in the area, and their powerful positions in the local community. Together they have formed the Anti-Rohingya Resistance Committee, which has taken on the role of pressuring the government to repatriate Rohingya refugees to Burma. Despite their dedication to their cause, however, their goal remains highly ambitious and controversial. Citing religious oppression in Burma, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh over the last three decades to seek asylum. Several times the Burmese government has made major pushes to flush the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority, out of Burma’s Arakan State—the last one being in 1992..."
Author/creator: Alex Allgee
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 September 2010


Title: STATELESS and STARVING - Persecuted Rohingya Flee Burma and Starve in Bangladesh
Date of publication: March 2010
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "In recent months Bangladeshi authorities have waged an unprecedented campaign of arbitrary arrest, illegal expulsion, and forced internment against Burmese refugees. In this emergency report Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) presents new data and documents dire conditions for these persecuted Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. PHR’s medical investigators warn that critical levels of acute malnutrition and a surging camp population without access to food aid will cause more deaths from starvation and disease if the humanitarian crisis is not addressed... Methods: The plight of the Burmese refugees in Bangladesh came to PHR’s attention while its researchers were conducting a quantitative study in the region on health and human rights in Burma. This emergency report is based on a sample of 100 unregistered refugee households at the Kutupalong makeshift camp in southeastern Bangladesh as well as in-depth interviews with 25 refugees and 30 other key informants throughout the region. Richard Sollom MA MPH, PHR’s Director of Research and Investigations, and Parveen Parmar MD, emergency physician at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, conducted the eight-day assessment from 8-16 February 2010. Both team members have considerable experience working in refugee populations throughout the world and describe the conditions for unregistered Burmese in Bangladesh as alarming... Arbitrary arrest and forced expulsion of refugees by Bangladesh: The Burmese refugee population in Bangladesh is estimated at 200,000 to 400,000. The Government of Bangladesh and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) jointly administer two “official” camps with a combined population of just 28,000 registered refugees. The remaining unregistered refugees are currently not protected by UNHCR because they arrived after 1993 when the Bangladesh government ceased conferring refugee status to any Rohingya fleeing Burma. In an apparent attempt to dissuade the influx of any further refugees fleeing anticipated repression prior to elections in Burma later this year, Bangladesh police and border security forces are now systematically rounding up, jailing or summarily expelling these unregistered refugees across the Burmese border in flagrant violation of the country’s human rights obligations. Although Bangladesh has not acceded to the UN refugee convention, it is minimally obligated to protect this vulnerable population against refoulement (forced deportation across the border)... Makeshift camp is “open-air prison”: Arbitrary arrest and expulsion by Bangladeshi authorities have acutely restricted all movement out of the unofficial camp, effectively quarantining tens of thousands of refugees in what one experienced humanitarian called “an open-air prison.” Because refugees fear leaving the camp, they are no longer able to find work to buy food. This confinement, coupled with the Bangladeshi government’s refusal to allow unregistered refugees access to food aid, presents an untenable situation: refugees are being left to die from starvation... Refugee children facing starvation and disease: Tens of thousands of unregistered Burmese refugees in the burgeoning camp in Bangladesh have no access to food aid. Physicians for Human Rights researchers observed children in the unofficial camp who were markedly thin with protruding ribs, loose skin on their buttocks, and wizened faces – all signs of severe protein malnutrition. The PHR team also came across many children who appeared to have kwashiorkor, as evidenced by swollen limbs and often distended abdomens. One out of five children with acute malnutrition, if not treated, will die. Results from the PHR household survey reveal that 18.2% of children examined suffer from acute malnutrition. In emergency settings, acute malnutrition is traditionally measured among children age 6–59 months. High rates of malnutrition in this age group correspond with high rates in the population as a whole. Child malnutrition levels that exceed 15% are considered “critical” by the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommends in such crises that adequate food aid be delivered to the entire population to avoid high numbers of preventable deaths. In addition, PHR received numerous testimonies from families who had not eaten in two or more days. As a coping mechanism, many refugees are now forced to borrow food or money to feed their families. Results from the PHR survey show that 82% of households had borrowed food within the past 30 days, and 91% of households had borrowed money – often with exorbitant interest rates – within the previous 30 days. Walking through the Kutupalong camp, PHR investigators saw stagnant raw sewage next to refugees’ makeshift dwellings. Human excrement and open sewers were visible throughout the camp. Results of the PHR survey show that 55% of children between 6–59 months suffered from diarrhea in the previous 30 days. Such inhuman conditions presage a public health disaster... Obstruction of humanitarian relief: PHR received reports of Bangladeshi authorities’ actively obstructing the little amount of international humanitarian relief that reaches this population. Corroborating eyewitnesses report that a Bangladeshi Member of Parliament recently Persecuted Rohingya Flee Burma and Starve in Bangladesh rounded up four national staff of an international humanitarian organization, tied them to a tree, and beat them for providing aid to the Rohingya refugees. This environment of regular harassment by Bangladeshi authorities severely impairs the ability of NGOs to provide assistance to unregistered refugees. The UK-based organization Islamic Relief ceased its humanitarian operations in one camp on 28 February 2010 because the Bangladeshi government refused to approve the group’s humanitarian activities that benefit these refugees... Bangladeshi hate propaganda and incitement against Rohingya refugees: The Bangladeshi government’s ongoing crackdown against Rohingya refugees appears to be coordinated among local authorities, police, border security forces, and the ruling political elite. Bangladeshis near the southern coastal town of Cox’s Bazar have formed Rohingya “resistance committees” that demand the expulsion from Bangladesh of the Rohingya. Bangladeshi authorities threaten villagers with arrest if they do not turn in their Rohingya neighbors. Local media disseminate ominous anti-Rohingya propaganda in editorials and opinion pieces, all of which incite xenophobic antagonism among local inhabitants... Background to the refugee crisis: Burma’s de facto president, Senior General Than Shwe, seized power 20 years ago while promising free and fair elections in 1990. That year, the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) defeated the military-backed State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), garnering 59% of the vote and 80% of the seats in the People’s Assembly. SLORC dismissed the results, and subsequently detained NLD’s Prime Minister-elect Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently under house arrest. To fend off risk of a second defeat at the polls in late 2010, the Burmese military regime has stepped-up militarization and abuses against all ethnic minorities, who represent nearly 40% of Burma’s total population of 50 million. Than Shwe’s Tatmadaw military has locked up 2,200 political prisoners, destroyed more than 3,200 villages, and forced millions to flee, ensuring that opposition parties cannot organize prior to upcoming elections. Burmese ethnic minorities, including the Rohingya, continue to flee, seeking refuge in neighboring countries. An additional 8,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in 2009. The Rohingya have a well-founded fear of persecution if forcibly returned to Burma. During the past five decades of continuous military rule, ethnic and religious minorities in Burma have suffered from systematic and widespread human rights violations including summary executions, torture, statesanctioned- rape, forced labor, and the recruitment of child soldiers. These acts of persecution by the military regime have resulted in up to two million ethnic minorities fleeing Burma..,."
Author/creator: Richard Sollom MA MPH
Language: English
Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB)
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2010


Title: Bangladesh: Violent Crackdown Fuels Humanitarian Crisis for Unrecognized Rohingya Refugees
Date of publication: 18 February 2010
Description/subject: Summary Stateless Rohingya people in Bangladesh are currently victims to unprecedented levels of violence and attempts at forced repatriation. Recent weeks have seen thousands of people arrive at Kutupalong makeshift camp as they flee what appears to be a violent crackdown on the Rohingya presence in the country. At its clinic in Kutupalong, in Cox’s Bazar District in the south of the country, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated victims of beatings and harassment by the authorities and members of the community. The victims are people who have been driven from their shelters throughout the district and in some cases forced back into the river which forms the border to neighboring Myanmar.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Medecian Sans Frontieres Doctors Wothout Borders
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 December 2010


Title: Unregistered Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh: Crackdown, forced displacement and hunger
Date of publication: 15 February 2010
Description/subject: "An unprecedented crackdown by Bangladesh law enforcement agencies against unregistered Rohingya refugees who had settled outside the two official refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar District started on 2 January 2010. More than 500 Rohingyas were subsequently arrested in January and the crackdown continues. Some of those arrested were pushed back across the Burmese border and others were charged under immigration legislation and sent to jail. In parallel to the roundups, there is a resurgence of anti-Rohingya movements among the local population and of anti-Rohingya propaganda in the local media fuelling xenophobia and pressing the government to take action against the Rohingya. A similar campaign started earlier in 2009 in Bandarban District and is still ongoing. Over the last few weeks, fearing arrest, harassment or facing expulsion, more than 5,000 self-settled Rohingya have already fled their homes and most flocked to the Kutupalong makeshift camp in Ukhia in search of safety. The makeshift camp population is now estimated to have swelled to over 30,000. Forced displacement appears to be a device to push the vulnerable unregistered Rohingya into this camp. The makeshift camp residents, including uprooted families, do not receive food assistance and are now denied access to livelihood as they would face arrest if they left the camp to find work. Food insecurity and hunger is spreading rapidly and a serious humanitarian crisis is looming."
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Arakan Project
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB)
Date of entry/update: 15 February 2010


Title: Living in a No-man's Land [PHOTO ESSAY]
Date of publication: January 2010
Description/subject: The Rohingya of northwestern Burma are fleeing to Bangladesh, where unofficial, makeshift refugee camps are rapidly expanding. The plight of the Rohingya in Burma and Bangladesh has grown worse during the past year.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 1
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17499
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: No Place for Buddhist Refugees
Date of publication: January 2010
Description/subject: Burmese Rakhines also face problems and discrimination in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar District... "Thant Sin is one of thousands of Burmese Buddhist refugees living in Cox’s Bazar who fled from Burma across the Naf River, a long estuary that forms the Bangladeshi-Burmese border. Hiking through the jungle for 15 days to escape arrest for being a student organizer in the 1996 uprising in Sittwe, he reached Bangladesh and was able to register with the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, receiving an ID card that states in English and Bengali that the holder should not be forcefully repatriated to Burma. Unfortunately, he feels no safer because some Bangladeshi police are known to rip up Rakhine refugee cards and force them to pay bribes. “We get very little financial assistance and when we do, it usually ends up being hard to receive and full of complications,” he said, adding that Rakhine refugees believe that if they were Muslims like the Rohingya, the Bangladeshi authorities would allow them into camps where they could benefit from assistance and security..."
Author/creator: Alex Ellgee
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 1
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17498
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: Nowhere to Turn
Date of publication: January 2010
Description/subject: Many homeless Rohingya prefer hunger in a hostile land to life in Burma... "I’ve lost everything in my life and now I can only pray that I don’t get sent back to Burma,” said Haziqah, a 27-year-old Rohingya resident of the unofficial Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh... Before joining the camp, Haziqah lived in the Bandarban Hill Tract, about 150 km [93 miles] to the north, where many Rohingya refugees from Burma have settled. She and her husband managed to survive on the meager wages he earned from odd jobs in the area and were starting to hope they could lead a normal existence. Rohingya men gather round to listen to Haziqah tell her story. (Photo: ALEX ELLGEE) But then, one morning seven days after giving birth to her first child, soldiers from the Bangladeshi border force, the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), stormed their village. Rounding up all the Rohingyas living there, they marched them toward the Bangladesh-Burma border. During the march, she said, the soldiers beat her husband severely and pushed her along, ignoring the week-old baby in her arms. When they reached the top of a hill bordering Burma, the soldiers simply gave them a shove to send them back to the country from which they had fled..."
Author/creator: Alex Ellgee
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 1
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17497
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: ROHINGYA, ASYLUM SEEKERS & MIGRANTS FROM BURMA: A HUMAN SECURITY PRIORITY FOR ASEAN
Date of publication: 30 January 2009
Description/subject: Since October 2006, about 10,000 Rohingya have boarded boats in Bangladesh and Burma and headed for Thailand and Malaysia. The thousands of Rohingya boat people are only the tip of the iceberg. Millions of Burmese have fled the country in the past decade, with two million in Thailand alone... ASEAN must be proactive in pressuring Burma’s military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to cease perpetuating the severe persecution and economic mismanagement that has been forcing millions of people to flee to neighboring countries.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (124K)
Date of entry/update: 03 February 2009


Title: Bangladesh: A Life on Hold. The story of Noor Jahan, a refugee from Myanmar (video)
Date of publication: 01 December 2008
Description/subject: "Noor Jahan fled from Myanmar in 1992. She lives in Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. Life has always been hard- espcially with no chance to return home. But recent improvements in camp life have made her family's life a little easier. "
Language: English subtitles
Source/publisher: UNHCR
Format/size: Adobe Flash (3 minutes 49 seconds)
Date of entry/update: 13 February 2009


Title: ISSUES TO BE RAISED CONCERNING THE SITUATION OF STATELESS ROHINGYA WOMEN IN MYANMAR (BURMA)
Date of publication: October 2008
Description/subject: SUBMISSION TO THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (CEDAW) For the Examination of the combined 2nd and 3rd periodic State party Reports (CEDAW/C/MMR/3) -MYANMAR-....."...Rohingya women and girls suffer from the devastating consequences of brutal government policies implemented against their minority group but also from socio-religious norms imposed on them by their community, the combined impact of which dramatically impinges on their physical and mental well-being, with long-term effects on their development. a) State-sponsored persecution: The 1982 Citizenship Law renders the Rohingya stateless, thereby supporting arbitrary and discriminatory measures against them. Their freedom of movement is severely limited; they are barred from government employment; marriage restrictions are imposed on them; they are disproportionately subject to forced labour, extortion and other coercive measures. Public services such as health and education are appallingly neglected. Illiteracy is estimated at 80%. The compounded impact of these human right violations also results in household impoverishment and food insecurity, increasing the vulnerability of women and children....Rohingya women and girls are also subject to serious gender-based restrictions due to societal attitudes and conservative interpretation of religious norms in their male-dominated community. The birth of a son is always favoured. Girls’ education is not valued and they are invariably taken out of school at puberty. Women and adolescent girls are usually confined to their homes and discouraged from participating in the economic sphere. They are systematically excluded from decision-making in community matters. Divorced women and widows are looked down upon, exposed to sexual violence and abandoned with little community support..."
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Arakan Project
Format/size: pdf (179K)
Date of entry/update: 30 January 2009


Title: Rohingyas and refugee status in Bangladesh
Date of publication: 22 April 2008
Description/subject: The Rohingya refugees from northern Rakhine State in Myanmar are living in a precarious situation in their country of asylum, Bangladesh, but have seen significant improvements in recent times.
Author/creator: Pia Prytz Phiri
Language: Burmese, English
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 30
Format/size: pdf (English, 387K; Burmese, 260K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30Burmese/34-35.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2008


Title: Rohingya and Muslims in Arakan State: slow-burning genocide - August 2006
Date of publication: August 2006
Description/subject: "Almost 14 years have passed since the UN General Assembly recognized the suffering the Rohingya experienced at the hands of Burma’s military regime. Yet, Rohingya and Muslims from Burma continue to be subjected to a widespread and systematic campaign of persecution and discrimination at home and the denial of basic protection and fundamental rights in neighboring countries. Often overlooked in global media coverage, the plight of more than 1 million Rohingya and Muslims from Burma should be more closely watched by the international community, to prevent what increasingly appears to be another genocide in the making"
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (102K)
Date of entry/update: 02 May 2007


Title: The Rohingya Riddle
Date of publication: June 2006
Description/subject: Burmese refugees in Bangladesh are running out of options... "Iman Hussein does not officially exist. But standing less than 100 feet from the Naff River which separates his makeshift refugee camp in the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh from his homeland of Arakan State in Burma, he says there are more pressing concerns for his group of 14,000 refugees: “We are just hoping for assistance,” he says. In Dhaka, the Ministry for Food and Disaster Management has yet to permit the UNHCR refugee agency to register this group of Rohingyas, thereby denying them food and medical aid. The Burmese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Thane Myint, does not even recognize the Rohingyas as an ethnic group. “Many people are claiming they lived in Rakhine [Arakan] State a long, long time ago,” he says, chuckling. “Some of them are, or have been, living in Myanmar [Burma]. Some of them may not be [from Burma].” The Bangladesh government says there are just over 20,000 Burmese people in the area—the number registered officially with UNHCR in two refugee camps south of Cox’s Bazaar. But the Burmese embassy in Dhaka recognizes only 10,000 as citizens of Arakan State. There are many more Buddhist Burmese refugees living illegally in Bangladesh. Those interviewed by The Irrawaddy—both Buddhists and Muslims—gave the same reason for leaving their homeland: they were fed up with human rights abuses inflicted by the Burmese military government..."
Author/creator: Clive Parker
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 December 2006


Title: Stateless in Arakan
Date of publication: January 2006
Description/subject: Rohingyas have struggled for decades to legitimize their presence in the country, and their fight looks to be anything but over... "Burma’s contentious Arakan State has long been a sore spot for the country’s ruling military dictatorship. Physical brutality and draconian measures to stifle the region’s Muslim Rohingya population have produced waves of refugees over the western border to Bangladesh (formerly eastern Bengal) since the 1970s. Some historians suggest that Muslims in northern Arakan State—predominantly ethnic Rohingya—can trace their lineage back to Muslim merchants of the 8th and 9th centuries who made their living as tradesmen in coastal ports. Never ones to let historical facts get in their way, the generals in Rangoon tell quite another story..."
Author/creator: Yeni
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 1
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


Title: Bangladesh: Burmese Rohingya Refugees Virtual Hostages
Date of publication: 09 May 2005
Description/subject: "Protection and humanitarian problems continue to plague the Burmese Rohingya refugees living in two camps in southern Bangladesh. A wave of more than a quarter of a million Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority, fled to Bangladesh in the early 1990s as a result of severe oppression and human rights abuses by the Burmese military government. Since then about 230,000 of the refugees have been repatriated to Burma, many against their will, and there remain approximately 20,000 Rohingya in the refugee camps of Nayapara and Kutupalong in Bangladesh. The situation for the Rohingya in the camps has become more complicated due to UNHCR's decision in 2003 to phase out its support for the 20,000 refugees remaining in the camps and implement its proposed self-sufficiency plan to integrate the Rohingya refugee population with the local Bangladeshi community. The self-sufficiency plan was rejected by Bangladeshi authorities in September 2004. UNHCR, however, is continuing to seek an exit strategy and plans to rework the self-sufficiency program in 2005 into one involving temporary stay and freedom of movement and present it again to the Bangladeshi government..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Refugees International
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 May 2005


Title: WFP/UNHCR REPORT OF THE JOINT ASSESSMENT MISSION: BANGLADESH: 10 TO 17 OCTOBER 2004
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: WFP/UNHCR mission to assess the health situation of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh... "a) The Joint Assessment Mission comprising of representatives of UNHCR, WFP and the Government of Bangladesh conducted the mission from the 10th to the 17th of October 2004. The objectives of the mission were to carry out an assessment of food and non-food requirements of the ongoing operation, to focus on the underlying causes of persistently high malnutrition and to make specific recommendations on the potential to reduce dependency on food assistance, alleviation of causes of using food for other purposes, modalities of assistance, composition of the food basket and the duration of assistance... b) The mission met with representatives of UNHCR, WFP, NGOs and representatives of the GOB at the capital, district and camp level. The mission visited facilities in Nayapara camp these included the medical facilities, water and sanitation facilities, school, women’s training facility, food storage and distribution facility. The mission conducted focus group discussion with women refugees in the camp and carried out interviews with key informants such as Concern’s counsellors and staff, representatives of BDRCS, DC of Food, DPHE staff, Civil surgeon, WFP and UNHCR field staff and the Camp in Charge... c) Briefing and Debriefing sessions by the mission team were given presenting the main recommendation (annex 3) of the mission at the district level to UNHCR, WFP, NGO and Government representatives and in Dhaka to the Secretary of the MFDM, representatives of UNHCR, WFP and the EC..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNHCR/WFP
Format/size: pdf (769K) 53 pages
Date of entry/update: 06 March 2005


Title: Sikkerheds- og menneskeretsforhold for rohingyaer i Burma og Bangladesh
Date of publication: December 2003
Description/subject: Rapport fra fact-finding mission til Bangkok i Thailand, Dhaka og Cox’s Bazar i Bangladesh og Maungdaw i Burma Oktober – november 2003 København, december 2003 Udlændingestyrelsen
Language: Dansk, Danish
Source/publisher: Udlændinge Styrelsen
Format/size: pdf (991K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.nyidanmark.dk/
Date of entry/update: 20 December 2010


Title: The situation of Burmese refugees in Bangladesh
Date of publication: 07 November 2003
Description/subject: Delivered at the Regional Conference on the Protection for Refugees from Burma, Chiang Mai, 6 & 7 November 2003... "Bangladesh hosted one of the largest numbers of refugees in Asia when 250,000 Rohingya fled en masse from Burma in 1978 and again in 1991/92. However, like most countries in the region, Bangladesh has not acceded to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, nor has it enacted any national refugee legislation. Refugees are dealt with on an ad-hoc basis. Bangladesh has allowed the UNHCR to assist and protect some Burmese refugees. Burmese refugees currently in Bangladesh can be divided into three categories: 1) About 20,000 Rohingya refugees sheltering in two camps: They remain from the mass exodus of 1991/92 and are recognised as "prima facie" refugees by the UNHCR (group recognition)... 2) Between 100,000 and 200,000[1] Rohingya refugees outside camps in South Bangladesh: They are not recognised as refugees and are often labelled as economic migrants... 3) A caseload of about 70 mostly Rakhine urban refugees in Dhaka: They have been granted "Person of Concern" status by the UNHCR (individual basis)... This paper will first examine the root causes of the Burmese refugee exodus to Bangladesh and then address the specific situation and protection issues of each category of refugees..."
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forum Asia
Format/size: html (93K), Word
Alternate URLs: http://www.google.co.th/#hl=en&biw=1055&bih=416&q=The+situation+of+Burmese+refugees+in+...
Date of entry/update: 13 December 2003


Title: ISSUES TO BE RAISED CONCERNING THE SITUATION OF ROHINGYA CHILDREN IN MYANMAR (BURMA)
Date of publication: November 2003
Description/subject: SUBMISSION TO THE COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD For the Examination of the 2nd periodic State Party Report of Myanmar... Conclusion: "Rohingya children bear the full brunt of the military regime’s policies of exclusion and discrimination towards the Muslim population of Rakhine State. The combination of the factors listed above, which deny them fundamental human rights, gravely damage their childhood development and will affect the future of the Rohingya community. With regard to Rohingya children, the State Peace and Development Council has failed to implement most of the rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Myanmar ratified in 1991. The Government has also ignored the suggestions and recommendations provided by the Committee in 1997, in particular, paragraph 28 in which “The Committee recommends that the Citizenship Act be repealed” and paragraph 34 which stated: “In the field of the right to citizenship, the Committee is of the view that the State Party should, in light of articles 2 (non-discrimination) and 3 (best interests of the child), abolish the categorization of citizens …” and that “all possibility of stigmatisation and denial of rights recognized by the Convention should be avoided”"
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forum Asia
Format/size: pdf (151.35 KB) html (280K) , Word (224K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Lewa-CRC2004.doc
Date of entry/update: 17 July 2010


Title: Conflict, discrimination and humanitarian challenges
Date of publication: 08 October 2003
Description/subject: Delivered at the EU – Burma Day 2003 Conference..."In contrast to the Thai-Burma border, very little international attention has been given to conditions on the Bangladesh-Burma border. Consequently, Arakan State has remained a largely ignored region of Burma. Awareness is generally limited to the cycle of exodus and repatriation of Rohingya refugees. But Arakan is no less than a microcosm of Burma with its ethnic conflicts and religious antagonisms, and is by far the most tense and explosive region of the country. The refugee outflow to Bangladesh does not result from counter-insurgency strategies to undermine ethnic armed resistance, as it is the case for the Shan, Karen and Karenni along the Thai-Burma border, but is the outcome of policies of exclusion against the Rohingya community..."
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Forum Asia
Format/size: html (100K), Word
Date of entry/update: 23 October 2003


Title: Thousands of refugees harassed to return to Myanmar
Date of publication: 17 September 2003
Description/subject: The free choice of refugees should be respected. In recent months, staff from MSF received over 550 complaints of coercion from the refugees. The complaints ranged from incidents of intimidation to outright threats of physical abuse to push people to repatriate...... Dhaka/Amsterdam - "The Bangladesh government is subjecting thousands of Rohingya refugees to intimidation and harassment as part of a campaign to pressure them to return to Myanmar (Burma), says the international humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 December 2010


Title: SRI On-Site Action Alert: Rohingya Refugees of Burma and UNHCR’s repatriation program
Date of publication: 17 July 2003
Description/subject: "SRI met with UNHCR officials, officials from the Ministry of Relief and Disaster Management, journalists, academics, international organizations such as Medicins Sans Frontier (MSF) and Concern International which has been working with the Rohingyas for over ten years as well as with local people in the Teknaf region and the refugees themselves. Access to international organizations was not difficult to obtain and neither was it extremely challenging to talk to civil society about the Rohingyas, the situation in the state of Arakan and the current UNHCR policy. However, it was evident that UNHCR was hesitant to discuss its current proposal and the allegations of abuse against the Rohingyas by camp officials with a representative of an international organization; and given the recent criticisms leveled by Refugees International and Burma Center Holland against UNHCR..."
Author/creator: Tazreena Sajjad
Language: English
Source/publisher: Survivors’ Rights International
Format/size: html (114K), pdf (3.57MB)
Date of entry/update: 06 February 2004


Title: "We are like a soccer ball, kicked by Burma, kicked by Bangladesh!"
Date of publication: 20 June 2003
Description/subject: -- Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are facing a new drive of involuntary repatriation -- "...This report attempts to give a voice to the Rohingya refugees in the camps and includes 57 refugee accounts illustrating the types of abuses used by the camp authorities to enforce repatriation. These testimonies denounce 26 acts of forced repatriation itself, usually involving detention in the camp followed by a forceful removal to the transit camp and back to Burma (18 in May 2003 alone), and also expose different types of mental and/or physical pressure to induce repatriation. Refugees unwilling to repatriate have been arrested and then given the choice of signing up for repatriation or going to jail (5 cases of threats and 5 cases of actual transfer to jail). Families have had their ration book seized until they agreed to repatriate (6 cases of deprivation of food). Other incidents have involved physical ill treatment (12 cases of beatings), sudden transfer to other sections of the camp (5 cases), destruction of housing (2 cases). The consequences have been particularly dramatic when families have been divided, when children have been separated from their parents, wives from their husbands, old people left behind and sick refugees abandoned (19 cases of family separation). As a result of these pressures, many refugees fled from the camp to avoid repatriation. Often, the male head of the household runs away, leaving women and children vulnerable in the camps (1 rape case reported). These accounts seriously challenge the voluntary character of the ongoing repatriation exercise. And, thus far, UNHCR has remained rather quiet. The UNHCR proposal also promotes self-sufficiency within the local host community pending return. The UNHCR initiative of promoting "temporary local integration" raises many questions with regard to protection and feasibility of self-reliance in an already tense and saturated environment. The Government of Bangladesh has not endorsed the proposal, and yet the UNHCR is already moving into the implementation phase. FORUM-ASIA calls upon the UNHCR and the Government of Bangladesh to immediately halt these forced repatriations and ensure that the principle of voluntariness is respected. In particular, we call on the UNHCR to continue to provide effective protection and humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya refugees in the camps until a durable solution emerges..." TABLE OF CONTENTS: Acknowledgment; Executive Summary; Map; Introduction; The Rohingya Refugee Exodus And Its Root Causes In Burma; - Root causes; The UNHCR Plan for the camps: Promoting Self-sufficiency Pending Voluntary Return: - UNHCR's Proposal; - Bangladesh's position; - Issues of Concern... The Current Situation in the Camps: Coercion, Harassment and Forced Repatriation: - Repatriation figures; - Overview of the Abuses in the Camps and their Consequences ; - Reduction of Humanitarian Assistance... Conclusion; Recommendations; Appendices: The Refugees' Voices - Appendix 1 - Declaration from Rohingya refugees dated 25 May 2003; Appendix 2 - A refugee account of a meeting with UNHCR in Kutupalong camp; Appendix 3 - Selection of 57 refugees' accounts.
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Format/size: pdf (303K), html (602K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/KICKED-June2003.doc
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/KICKED-June2003.htm
Date of entry/update: 21 June 2003


Title: Rohingya-Flüchtlinge in Bangladesch sehen sich einer neuen unfreiwilligen Wiedereingliederung gegenüber
Date of publication: 20 June 2003
Description/subject: "Ungefähr 21500 Rohingya Flüchtlinge haben Schutz in den beiden Flüchtlingslagern, Kutupalong und Nayapara, im Süden Bangladeschs gefunden. Diese Flüchtlinge sind das Überbleibsel der Massenflucht der Jahre 1991/92, als 250000 Rohingyas der brutalen Repression gegen Muslime im Norden des Arakan-Staates in Burma entflohen. Ein Repatriierungsprogramm unter der Aufsicht des Flüchtlingshilfswerks der Vereinten Nationen UNHCR, fand in den Jahren 1994/95 statt. Die Rohingyas verließen Bangladesch jedoch alles andere als freiwillig. Seitdem wurden die Rückführungsprogramme bis zum September 2002 eingestellt..." [Übersetzung der Zusammenfassung des Berichts "We are like a socker ball, kicked by Burma, kicked by Bangladesh" von Chris Lewa, Forum Asia, über die Repatriierung der burmesischen Rohingya-Flüchtlinge in Bangladesch. Gesamttext in Englsich unter http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/KICKEDTOBURMA-Final-3.htm ]
Author/creator: Chris Lewa (Deutsch von Jan Zalewski, für Burma Initiative Asienhaus)
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: FORUM ASIA
Format/size: html (14K)
Date of entry/update: 09 July 2003


Title: CAUGHT BETWEEN A CROCODILE AND A SNAKE: The Increasing Pressure on Rohingyas in Burma and Bangladesh & The Impacts of the Changing Policy of UNHCR
Date of publication: 05 June 2003
Description/subject: Report of the fact-finding mission - April/May 2003... "In Arakan (Rakhine) State in Western Burma, the Burmese military regime (SPDC) and border police (NaSaKa) are still committing serious human rights violations. Although both peoples in Arakan (Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims) are victims of these crimes, especially the Rohingyas living in Northern Arakan are marginalized as a people. By definition, the Rohingyas do not have full citizenship, still suffer from gross human rights violations, are still forced to perform unpaid labour (especially in the countryside) and are not free to practice their religion. The Rohingyas in Arakan/Burma are often denied basic freedoms like the right to marry, and they are forced to pay the military authorities for all basic necessities. Rohingyas have no freedom of movement. Finally, often the military orders them to handle over all there belongings, including their land, without any compensation. The future of Rohingyas in Arakan still looks grim..."
Author/creator: Peter Ras
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Center Netherlands
Format/size: html (240K)
Date of entry/update: 11 June 2003


Title: Weakness in Numbers
Date of publication: 10 March 2003
Description/subject: "Muslim minorities across Asia are under siegeand their persecution fuels fundamentalists' rage...the Burmese government has convinced many Buddhists in the Arakan region that the Rohingyas are fighting for an independent Islamic statea goal embraced by radical militant groups in exile in Bangladesh but not by the majority of Muslims living in Arakan. "It's propaganda," says Christina Fink, a cultural anthropologist at Chiang Mai University in Thailand. "It's a way for the regime to divide the Arakanese and make sure the people are less interested in the pro-democracy movement and more interested in driving the Muslims out." The United Nations has overseen the return to Burma of more than 200,000 Rohingya refugees. But many have found their houses and land appropriated by Buddhist settlers and their basic rights still denied by the authorities. For example, to qualify for citizenship, says Fink, the Rohingyas must prove that their grandparents on both sides were born in Burma, but "there are very few who can." Many have abandoned hope and go back to Bangladesh, only to find they are no longer allowed access to the refugee camps, says French anthropologist Chris Lewa, who studies the Rohingya refugees. "Perhaps as many as 100,000 live in slums around Cox's Bazar," she says. "They are not wanted in Bangladesh or in Burma. Effectively, they are stateless people."..."
Author/creator: Andrew Perrin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Time Asia Vol. 161 No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The refugee situation on the western borders of Burma
Date of publication: 09 October 2002
Description/subject: Delivered at the Canadian Friends of Burma Public Conference Ottawa – 9 October 2002. "Burma’s borders with India and Bangladesh have received much less international attention than the Thailand-Burma border. A major reason is the difficult access to refugees in these border areas due to policies of the host governments. Nevertheless, outflows of refugees from Burma to India and Bangladesh are no less significant. More than 50,000 mostly Chin refugees have fled to India while up to 200,000 Rohingya refugees are found in Bangladesh in and outside refugee camps..."
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Format/size: html (39K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: "The exodus has not stopped: Why Rohingyas continue to leave Myanmar”
Date of publication: 01 April 2002
Description/subject: Delivered at the Medecins Sans Frontieres Conference: “10 Years for the Rohingya Refugees: Past, Present and Future” Dhaka – 1 April 2002. "As long as the situation in Rakhine State does not show any fundamental improvement, Rohingya people will continue to enter and seek shelter in Bangladesh. The refugees in the two remaining camps are only the visible side of an outflow that has never ceased. Indeed, the exodus of Rohingya to Bangladesh has never stopped. Every day, new Rohingya individuals and families continue to cross the border illegally and seek sanctuary in Bangladesh. It is no longer a mass exodus, but a constant trickle. This influx seems to be encouraged and at the same time strictly controlled by the Myanmar authorities, and concurrently it is rendered invisible by the Bangladesh administration. New arrivals are denied access to the refugee camps, and these undocumented Rohingya have no other option than to survive among the local population outside the camps. Their exact number is unknown. An estimate of 100,000 has regularly been cited for several years now, which does not take into account the constant increase. According to the local press, there may be as many as 200,000 living in the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf-Bandarban area and this amount appears to be more realistic. They are not referred to as refugees but labelled as “economic migrants”..."
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: US Committee for Refugees, Burma Report 2002
Date of publication: 2002
Description/subject: Situation to end 2001
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Bangladesh-Myanmar Relations and the Stateless Rohingyas
Date of publication: June 2001
Description/subject: "I have lately been disturbed by two developments. Firstly, at the very moment when 'realism' has lost its post-Westphalian glories and is suffering from disrepute, the stateless people continue to be at the mercy of the state. In the case of the Rohingyas it is even more pathetic for their refuge across the border brought no change to their sufferings. On the contrary, as camped and non-camped refugees, they ended up becoming victims of yet another state power, this time of Bangladesh. Secondly, when the power of the state has been eroded considerably, particularly in the wake of misgovernance and globalization, the state is brought in to resolve the issue of statelessness. Indeed, the Rohingyas were sent home, amidst criticism of 'involuntary' repatriation, with the hope that the government of Myanmar (GOM) after over half-a-century would change its position and make them all worthy citizens of Myanmar. What we have is a representation of a dialectic in the constitution of the state, that is, state as usurper and state as salvation, without of course realizing that the former cancels the latter and vice versa. It is against this background that I intend to discuss the Bangladesh-Myanmar relations and that again, from the standpoint of the stateless Rohingyas. Two questions, I believe, are pertinent. One, how do stateless people view the state/s? And two, what impact does the stateless people have on the state-to-state relationship? Few will dispute that the discussion requires a sound understanding of the 'stateless,' which in our case are the Rohingyas..."
Author/creator: Imtiaz Ahmed
Language: English
Format/size: html (26K)
Date of entry/update: 10 July 2003


Title: The Rohingya: Forced Migration and Statelessness
Date of publication: 28 February 2001
Description/subject: "Forced Migration in the South Asian Region: Displacement, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution" Paper submitted for publication in a book edited by Omprakash Mishra on "Forced Migration in South Asian Region", Centre for Refugee studies Jadavpur University, Calcutta and Brookings Institution Project on Internal Displacement. "In the eyes of the media and the general public, whether in Bangladesh or further afield, the situation of the Rohingya from Burma[ii] is usually referred to as a ?refugee problem?. Over the last two decades, Bangladesh has born the brunt of two mass exoduses, each of more then 200,000 people, placing them among the largest in Asia. Each of these massive outflows of refugees was followed by mass repatriation to Burma. Repatriation has been considered the preferred solution to the refugee crisis. However, this has not proved a durable solution, since the influx of Rohingyas over international borders has never ceased. And it is unlikely that it will stop, so long as the root causes of this unprecedented exodus are not effectively remedied. The international community has often focussed its attention on the deplorable conditions in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, rather than on the root causes of the problem, namely the denial of legal status and other basic human rights to the Rohingya in Burma. This approach doubtless stems from the practical difficulty of confronting an intractable military regime which refuses to recognise the Rohingya as citizens of Burma, and of working out solutions acceptable to all parties involved. The actual plight and continuous exodus of the Rohingya people has been rendered invisible. Though they continue to cross international borders, they are also denied the right of asylum, being labelled ?economic migrants?. The international community has preferred to ignore the extent of this massive forced migration, which has affected not only Bangladesh, but also other countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, etc..."
Author/creator: Chris Lewa
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Malaysia/Burma: Living in Limbo
Date of publication: July 2000
Description/subject: Burmese Rohingyas in Malaysia. Contains a good discussion of the Rohingyas' de facto statelessness under the 1982 Citizenship Law as well as background material on the Rohingyas' situation in Burma.."Burmese authorities bear responsibility for the Rohingya's flight. Burma's treatment of the Rohingya is addressed in the background section of the report, and the report offers specific recommendations to the Burmese government. The focus of this report, however, is on what happens to Rohingya when they reach Malaysia. There, they are not treated as refugees fleeing persecution who should be afforded protection, but as aliens subject to detention or deportation in violation of Malaysia's international human rights obligations..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Birmanie: Repression, Discrimination Et Nettoyage Ethnique En Arakan
Date of publication: April 2000
Description/subject: Mission Internationale d’Enquête Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme... L’Arakan: A. Présentation de l’Arakan; B. Historique de la présence musulmane en Arakan; C. Organisation administrative, forces répressives et résistance armée. .. Le retour forcé et la réinstallation des Rohingyas - hypocrisie et contraintes: A. Les conditions du retour du Bangadesh après l’exode de 1991-92; B. Réinstallation et réintégration. Répression, discrimination et exclusion en Arakan: A. La spécificité de la répression à l’égard des Rohingyas; B. Les Arakanais : une exploitation sans issue. .. Nouvel Exode: A. Les années 1996 et 1997; B. L’exode actuel.
Language: Francais, French
Source/publisher: Federation International des Droits de l'Homme
Format/size: pdf (479K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma: Repression, Discrimination and Ethnic Cleansing in Arakan
Date of publication: April 2000
Description/subject: International Mission of Inquiry by the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues. I. Arakan: A. Presentation of Arakan - A buffer State; B. Historical background of the Muslim presence in Arakan; C. Administration organisation, repressive forces and armed resistance... II. The forced return and the reinstallation of the Rohingyas: hypocrisy and constraints: A. The conditions of return from Bangladesh after the 1991-92 exodus; B. Resettlement and reintegration. .. III. Repression, discrimination and exclusion in Arakan: A. The specificity of the repression against the Rohingyas; B. The Arakanese: an exploitation with no way out. .. IV. A new exodus: A. The years 1996 and 1997; B. The current exodus.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Federation International des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH)
Format/size: pdf (446K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Rohingyas in Bangladesh: Anmerkungen zur Flchtlingshilfe
Date of publication: 2000
Description/subject: Rohningyas in Bangladesh: some comments about international assistance for refugees. Sociological analysis of acteurs in migrant situations, questions of space and place in and around refugee camps, migrant's identities. Am Beispiel der Flchtlinge aus Myanmar, der Rohingyas, im Sdosten Bangladeshs, die mit internationaler Hilfe in Flchtlingslagern angesiedelt wurden, u.a. folgende Fragen untersucht: Akteure der Fluchtsituation, Rume und Schaupltze in und um Flchtlingslager, Identitt von Flchtlingen. Eine Lehrforschung des Sociology of Development Research Centre. Gliederung: Einleitung; Methoden; Geschichte(n) des Problems; Akteure; Rume und Schaupltze; Fazit; Literatur.
Author/creator: Stephanie Hering
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Universitats Bielefeld
Format/size: pdf (119K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: UNHCR Global Report 2000: Bangladesh at a glance
Date of publication: 2000
Description/subject: Maps, photos, tables, text. Main Objectives and Activities: "Facilitate voluntary repatriation to Myanmar of those refugees who are willing and cleared to return; promote and initiate activities fostering self-reliance for refugees unable or unwilling to return in the near future, pending a lasting solution; co-ordinate and ensure protection and basic services for the refugees, paying special attention to women and children....."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNHCR
Format/size: pdf (220K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/WorldReport-Bang.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 December 2010


Title: UNHCR Global Report 2000: Myanmar at a glance
Date of publication: 2000
Description/subject: Maps, tables, photos and text. "Main Objectives and Activities: Support the voluntary repatriation, reintegration, and stabilisation of returnees in Northern Rakhine State, and monitor the situation in areas hosting them; promote activities conducive to self-reliance, and provide special assistance to the most vulnerable within the Muslim population; prepare for the United Nations Integrated Development Plan for Northern Rakhine State which will permit the gradual phasing out of UNHCR�s assistance programme. ..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNHCR
Format/size: PDF (220K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: US Committee for Refugees Burma Report 1999
Date of publication: 1999
Description/subject: Situation to end 1998
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Report of the ILO Commission of Inquiry: customised version highlighting violence against the Rohingyas
Date of publication: 02 July 1998
Description/subject: Extracts on the Rohingyas from the report of the ILO Commission of Inquiry into forced labour in Myanmar (Burma). ".... the situation in the northern part of Rakhine State appears to be more severe in all respects than that prevailing in most other parts of the country. Most of the witnesses questioned on this subject, who were members of the Rohingya ethnic group, and who had left the country very recently, claimed to have been subjected to systematic discrimination by the authorities..." (ILO Report, para 435). The 1998 ILO Inquiry into forced labour in Burma covers a wide range of human rights violations in addition to forced labour. The Commission of Inquiry, which is the most senior body to have examined human rights in Burma, reported that the Rohingyas suffer a higher level of discrimination than other groups in the country.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ILO (customised by BPF)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: UNHCR: Bangladesh/Myanmar
Date of publication: March 1998
Description/subject: "An estimated 21,000 refugees from Rakhine State in Myanmar live in two camps in southern Bangladesh. They were among 250,000 people who originally fled Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in 1992, claiming widespread human rights abuse, including rape and excessive unpaid community labor..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNHCR
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 December 2010


Title: US Committee for Refugees, Burma Report 1998
Date of publication: 1998
Description/subject: Situation to end 1997
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: MYANMAR/BANGLADESH: ROHINGYAS - THE SEARCH FOR SAFETY
Date of publication: September 1997
Description/subject: "Thousands of Burmese Muslims from the Rakhine (Arakan) State in Myanmar, known as Rohingyas, have fled into southeastern Bangladesh during the first half of 1997. Unlike more than 250,000 Rohingya refugees who came to Bangladesh in 1991 and 1992, these new arrivals are largely living in local villages rather than in designated refugee camps. The Government of Bangladesh has not permitted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to interview these people, asserting that they are all economic migrants. Amnesty International is aware of reports that some of the new arrivals have stated that they have left Myanmar solely because of economic hardship. However, it is concerned that others are in fact people fleeing serious human rights violations in Myanmar, and therefore would be in need of protection. Indeed, it should be noted that the distinction between economic hardship and violations of civil and political rights is not necessarily a clear one; for example, many of the Rohingyas have been unable to make a living due to continuing unpaid forced labour in Rakhine state. Given the grave human rights situation in Myanmar, it is impossible to state in a blanket fashion that Rohingyas are only fleeing economic hardship and therefore are not worthy of protection..." KEYWORDS: REFUGEES 1 / REFOULEMENT1 / MINORITIES 1 / FORCED LABOUR / TORTURE/ILL-TREATMENT / RELIGIOUS GROUPS - ISLAMIC / WOMEN / MILITARY / ARMED CIVILIANS / HUNGER-STRIKE / ARMED CONFLICT / SECOND GOVERNMENTS / UNHCR / RECOMMENDED ACTIONS /
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (Al INDEX: ASA 13/07/97)
Format/size: html (86K), Word (61K) The html version works better with Netscape than IE, or download the Word version.
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/AI-Rohingya97-09.doc (Word version)
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2003


Title: US Committee for Refugees Burma Report 1997
Date of publication: 1997
Description/subject: Situation to the end of 1996
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Committee for Refugees (USCR)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma - The Rohingya Muslims: Ending a Cycle of Exodus?
Date of publication: September 1996
Description/subject: I. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS; II. THE 1996 INFLUX; III. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND; IV. THE REPATRIATION: The first stage, September 1992-January 1994; Mass repatriation, July 1994 - December 1995; V. THE REINTEGRATION PROGRAM; VI. CONTINUING DISCRIMINATION: Citizenship Legislation and Identity Cards; International Law and the 1982 Citizenship Act; Current Status of Returnees; Forced Labor; Land Ownership and Arbitrary Taxation; Forced Relocations; Model Villages; Freedom of Movement; VII. CONCLUSIONS.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch/Asia
Format/size: html (391K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Non-Refoulement (Chapter 4 of "The Refugee in International Law")
Date of publication: 1996
Description/subject: "The principle of non-refoulement prescribes, broadly, that no refugee should be returned to any country where he or she is likely to face persecution or torture. In this chapter, the scope of the principle is examined against the background of a number of recurring issues: the question of ‘risk’; the personal scope of the principle, including its application to certain categories of asylum seekers such as stowaways or those arriving directly by boat; exceptions to the principle; extraterritorial application; extradition; and the ‘contingent’ application of the principle in situations of mass influx. The possible application of non-refoulement or an analogous principle of refuge to those outside the 1951 Convention/1967 Protocol is also considered, as is the relationship between non-refoulement and asylum. The analysis takes account of the increasing number of references to non- refoulement..." Extracted (with the author's permission) from "The Refugee in International Law" by Guy S. Goodwin-Gill
Author/creator: Guy S. Goodwin-Gill
Language: English
Source/publisher: OUP
Format/size: pdf (327K) - 54 pages
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2015


Title: REPATRIATION OF ROHINGYA REFUGEES
Date of publication: 1995
Description/subject: "In 1978 and 1991 Bangladesh was faced with influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. In 1978 about 200,000 refugees crossed into Bangladesh to flee persecution by the Myanmarese army in the Arakan region. Their stay in Bangladesh at that time was short lived as the problem was resolved through diplomatic initiatives in sixteen months. The situation is somewhat different this time when about a quarter of a million of refugees took shelter in the Teknaf-Cox's Bazar region. Following the successful completion of the Cambodian operation the Rohingya repatriation constitutes the single largest UNHCR operation in Asia. In spite of the Bangladesh Government's agreement with the Myanmar authorities and UNHCR's Memorandum of Understanding with both the governments on repatriation, initial steps in the repatriation has been rather slow. Currently the repatriation process has virtually stagnated. The presence of such a large number of refugees, which at one stage appeared to be for an indefinite period, has created tensions in the host communities and impacted adversely the economy and environment of the region. It is in this setting that a study on the Rohingya refugees is being undertaken..."
Author/creator: C.R. Abrar
Language: English
Format/size: html (133K)
Date of entry/update: 22 June 2003


Title: Repatriation to Myanmar
Date of publication: 1995
Description/subject: "Between late 1991 and the middle of 1992, more than 250,000 people fled from the Rakhine State of Myanmar (formerly Burma) to neighbouring Bangladesh. Almost all of the refugees were Rohingyas, a Muslim minority group living in a predominantly Buddhist country. Although accurate statistics are not available, the Rohingyas are thought to constitute just under half of Rakhine State's population, which is estimated to be some 4.5 million..." Extract from "The State of The World's Refugees 1995: In search of solutions" (Chapter 2, Box 2.2)
Language: English
Source/publisher: UNHCR
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Recommendations on the Rohingyas in Bangladesh: Mission to Bangladesh - April 21 to 29, 1994
Date of publication: 06 June 1994
Description/subject: "Repatriation, although agreed upon to be voluntary, has in fact not been voluntary. Those who "agreed" to return to Arakan have faced and continue to face severe coercion, including reportedly, physical abuse, deprivation of food rations, confiscation of their money or possessions, arrest and threats. Donor governments should express concern that UNHCR Geneva is currently not providing adequate monitoring of the process to return refugees to Arakan and must take action to ensure the voluntary nature of the repatriation is upheld. UNHCR should increase protection of the refugees currently in the camps; UNHCR must supply additional staff - at least one per camp - tasked not only with preparations for repatriation, but also focussed on protecting the refugees from a non-voluntary return. The Memorandum of Understanding focusses primarily on the short term needs of the refugees and fails to address many of the root causes of their distrust and fear. Because of these circumstances, UNHCR and the Government of Bangladesh should re-evaluate the time frame for repatriation. Refugees should not be returned until their safety can be insured. UNHCR and donor countries should solicit the continued patience of the Bangladesh government. UNHCR should arrange for adequate monitoring in Arakan. Their team should be given access to all areas where refugees are returning and be allowed to conduct their monitoring without official escort or official interpreters. We urge UNHCR to work with Burmese government authorities to reinstate former land use privileges to those returning. If not applicable, the government should allocate new land in proximity to their former residence. This would help to reassure refugees of the government's good faith commitment. UNHCR and the governments involved should be identifying and addressing the special needs of vulnerable and at risk groups both in Bangladesh and Arakan. Requests should be made for continued monitoring of both the Bangladesh camps and Arakan by an appropriate additional NGO within the next 2 to 3 months. In light of refugee anxieties over the Burmese government's compulsory three month training courses for girls aged 15 to 18 which separates girls from their families, UNHCR should work with the Burmese authorities to eliminate these courses. UNHCR and the international community should encourage SLORC to participate in tripartite meetings to facilitate coordination on repatriation policy..."
Author/creator: Yvette Pierpaoli
Language: English
Source/publisher: Refugees International
Format/size: html (93K)
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2003


Title: BANGLADESH: ABUSE OF BURMESE REFUGEES FROM ARAKAN
Date of publication: 09 October 1993
Description/subject: "Beginning in late 1991, wide-scale atrocities committed by the Burmese military, including rape, forced labor, and religious persecution, triggered an exodus of ethnic Rohingya Muslims from the northwestern Burmese state of Arakan into Bangladesh.[1] Nearly 240,000 refugees, now housed in 19 camps in and around the Bangladeshi town of Cox's Bazar, face the prospect of possible mass repatriation when the 1993 rainy season ends in October. That repatriation would be cause for concern on two grounds. First, though talks have taken place between Burmese authorities and Mrs. Sadako Ogata, head of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) to allow a UNHCR presence inside Burma, no final agreement has yet been reached, and grave concerns remain about military abuses in Arakan and thus about the safety of repatriated refugees. Second, when mass repatriations took place in 1992, they became the occasion for coercion and physical abuse of refugees by Bangladeshi authorities, raising serious doubts about whether most returned voluntarily. Asia Watch has not been able to investigate abuses on the Burmese side of the border. But in April 1993, an Asia Watch consultant visited the refugee camps in Bangladesh. He also met in Dhaka with officials in both the Foreign Ministry and the Home Ministry, local government officials in the Cox's Bazar area directly responsible for implementing policy with respect to the Rohingyas, staff members of the UNHCR, foreign government officials, international relief workers, Bangladeshi human rights monitors, and refugees. The Bangladeshi government was cooperative in allowing the mission to take place. The Asia Watch consultant compiled evidence of verbal, physical and sexual abuse of refugees at the hands of Bangladeshi military and paramilitary forces in charge of the camps. Those abuses indicate the need for international agencies, particularly the UNHCR, to have full access to all camps to interview refugees in confidence about their willingness to return, and for the Bangladeshi authorities to investigate the pattern of abuse against refugees and bring those responsible to justice..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Watch (A Committee of Human Rights Watch)
Format/size: html (129K)
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2003


Title: Burma: Rape, Forced Labor and Religious Intolerance in Northern Arakan
Date of publication: 07 May 1992
Description/subject: "Muslims from Arakan State in northwestern Burma, have become the latest targets of Burmese military atrocities. Since late 1991, they have been streaming into neighboring Bangladesh at the rate of several thousand a day with stories of rapes, killings, slave labor and destruction of mosques and other acts of religious persecution. By mid-March, the Bangladesh government had registered over 200,000 refugees and the exodus was continuing. In many ways, the treatment of these Muslims, called Rohingyas, seemed to be part and parcel of the stepped up military offensive against ethnic minorities and opposition activists by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), the military junta that has become one of the most abusive governments in Asia. Intensive fighting has been taking place along Burma's eastern border against the Karen and Mon people as well, with refugees pouring into Thai border camps with similar accounts of rape and forced labor..." INTRODUCTION; ARAKAN AND THE ROHINGYA MUSLIMS:The 1978 Exodus; The 1990 Election and Its Aftermath; PATTERNS OF ABUSE 1991-92: Rape; Forced Labor; Population Transfers and Religious Persecution; Summary Executions;
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Watch - A Division of Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html (167K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Union of Myanmar (Burma): Human rights violations against Muslims in the Rakhine (Arakan) State
Date of publication: May 1992
Description/subject: "During February and March 1992 Amnesty International conducted over 100 interviews in Bangladesh with Burmese Muslim refugees from the Rakhine (Arakan) State, which is in the southwest of Myanmar (Burma)[1] bordering Bangladesh. All of those interviewed told Amnesty International that they had fled from their homes in the Maungdaw and Buthidaung township areas of the Rakhine State to escape a wide range of human rights violations at the hands of the Myanmar security forces, including ill-treatment, deliberate killings, and arrests on religious and political grounds. In their testimonies, these refugees said they were themselves victims of human rights violations, or had witnessed such violations committed against others, or were personally acquainted with the victims of such abuses. The human rights violations documented in this report are part of a general pattern of repression by the Myanmar security forces against Muslims in the Rakhine State. Troops have entered Muslim villages in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships, occupied and closed mosques, confiscated farmers' livestock and crops, seized villagers for forced labour, and evicted them from their houses. The repression of Muslims in the Rakhine State is part of the gross and consistent pattern of human rights violations committed by the SLORC against all forms of political opposition and dissent and against vulnerable and weak sectors of the country's population, such as ethnic minorities, who the military authorities suspect may not support its national ideology. All the available evidence indicates that Muslims are targeted for repression by the Myanmar security forces simply because they belong to a particular religious minority, some members of which seek greater autonomy from central Myanmar control. Reports of human rights abuses against Muslims in the Rakhine State by Myanmar security forces rose sharply in early 1991, and they began to leave Myanmar in the thousands to seek asylum in Bangladesh. Those numbers increased dramatically in late 1991 and early 1992, with more than 200,000 now believed to be in Bangladesh." KEYWORDS: RELIGIOUS GROUPS - ISLAMIC / MINORITIES / FORCED LABOUR / TORTURE/ILL-TREATMENT / DEATH IN CUSTODY / EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION / WOMEN / SEXUAL ASSAULT / ARBITRARY ARREST / POLITICAL PRISONERS / TRIALS / MILITARY TRIBUNALS / LONG-TERM IMPRISONMENT / FARMERS / FARM WORKERS / AGED / RELIGIOUS GROUPS - HINDU / FAMILIES / CHILDREN / JUVENILES / STUDENTS / COMMUNITY LEADERS / TEACHERS / RETIRED PEOPLE / CIVIL SERVANTS / REFUGEES 1 / DISPLACED PEOPLE / MISSIONS / PRISONERS' TESTIMONIES / MILITARY / PARAMILITARIES / POLICE / POLITICAL VIOLENCE / EMERGENCY LEGISLATION /
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA (Al INDEX: ASA 16/06/92)
Format/size: html (123K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: "Our Journey" - Voices from Arakan, Western Burma
Date of publication: May 1991
Description/subject: Introduction, map and 32 interviews with Arakanese (Rakhine) and Rohingya refugees and activists.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: pdf (2.2MB)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: REPORT ON THE 1978-79 BANGLADESH REFUGEE RELIEF OPERATION
Date of publication: June 1979
Description/subject: "During the past year the problems of international refugees have received much coverage in the world press -most of it devoted to the Vietnamese "boat people" arriving on the shores of Malaysia and other Southeast Asian nations. Another refugee movement of almost equal magnitude in the area, however, has received little attention: the 200,000 Muslim refugees from Burma in Bangladesh. Some press coverage appeared in May and June, 1978, when tens of thousands of the Muslim minority community were pouring into Bangladesh from neighboring Burma. And the signing of an agreement between the two governments on July 9th, allowing the refugees to return, merited short articles in many papers. But from then on there was virtually no news for six and a half months until January 26, 1979, when the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva announced to the press that since June 1, 1978, more than 10,000 of the Burmese refugees had died in the Bangladesh camps. Between late March and mid-July, 1978, approximately 200,000 of the estimated 1,400,000 Bengali Muslims (called Rohingyas) living in the state of Arakan in north-western Burma fled into nearby Bangladesh. The roots of this mass exodus can evidently be traced to increased immigration from Bangladesh in recent years into this isolated area somewhat tenuously controlled by the central government of the Union of Burma, and to the apparent growth of a movement for the autonomy or independence of the Arakan among both the Buddhists and the Muslims of the area. While some of the Buddhist community wanted independence for the Arakan state, they were also afraid of absorption into Bangladesh..."
Author/creator: Alan C. Lindquist
Language: English
Format/size: html (95K)
Date of entry/update: 13 June 2003