The Rohingya are not guaranteed freedom of movement on the island


According to a copy of the agreement, a pact for the UN to begin work on a remote Bangladeshi island where the government has put thousands of Rohingya refugees offers no guarantee that they will freely move to the mainland.
Despite complaints from refugees and objections from rights groups, the Bangladesh government has relocated over 19,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar’s border camps to Bhasan Char island, comparing it to an island jail and claiming that some relocations were forced.
Hundreds of refugees have died in recent months attempting to leave on rickety boats between the remote and flood-prone island, several hours off the coast, and the enormous mainland camps near the port town of Cox’s Bazar.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which had previously refused to give humanitarian assistance on Bhasan Char until evaluations were completed, did not reply to requests for comment on why the agreement was signed in early October. The refugee agency said in a statement on Oct. 9 that the deal included “important areas of protection, education, skills training, livelihoods, and health, which will help support the refugees in leading dignified lives on the island and better prepare them for a future return to Myanmar.”
Officials from the Bangladeshi government did not respond to requests for comment. Still, one official, who did not want to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media, questioned the necessity for unrestricted mobility. “How come we’re going to give them freedom of movement?” We are providing them with whatever they require. According to the official, they’ll have to stay in the camps until they can return to Myanmar.
According to a leaked copy of the agreement, the UN will be given “unrestricted access” to the population, and any further relocation will be voluntary. However, it states that any travel between the island and the mainland will be on an “as needed” basis, with the UN and Bangladesh determining the specifics. According to the agreement, they will be able to “move on and within Bhasan Char for their daily activities.”.


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