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Rohingya refugees share concerns with UN rights commissioner during visit to Cox’s Bazar

A busy street in the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Ms. Bachelet asked that the world continues “supporting and even looking to see if they can scale up their support because of the consequences”.

During her stay in Dhaka, the top UN rights official met with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at the Government guest house, several ministers, and representatives of civil society organizations along with others.

Women share pains

They talked about the shelter provided to them in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar camp as well as how the UN with partners and NGOs have been supporting them with services.
This is creating problems for the people in Cox’s Bazar she pointed out, insisting that the international community does not abandon the Rohingyas.
“When our rights are respected, we can have our livelihoods again, and we can have a land, and we can feel that we are part of the country,” she recounted their conversations.
In a women’s safe place inside the Cox’s Bazar camp, she spoke with them about their experiences.

Youth wishing to return

She will conclude her visit tomorrow following a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed and a press conference.

In Cox’s Bazar, she visited camps housing Rohingya refugees who, after terrible repression and human rights violations, fled Myanmar five years ago “to get some safety,” she said.Meanwhile, the current economic crisis and the war in Ukraine has driven food costs up.

“But we also need to deal with the profound roots of the problem. We need to deal with that and ensure that they can go back to Myanmar – when there are conditions for safety and voluntary return”.

Dignified repatriation

Young volunteers, aged 15 to 18, spoke of their wishes for education and to return to Myanmar, with identities as citizens.
“They described their grievances, their pains, how they left and lost everything they have…their livelihoods” and loved ones, said Ms. Bachelet.
“One of the problems that they have been seeing here, as in many other places of the world, is that the prices of food are going up,” explained the UN official, adding that “the same amount of money that before could buy more now can buy less”.

Impact of war in Ukraine

An estimated 1.1 million Rohingyas are in Bangladesh right now, meaning Cox’s Bazar, some of them in Bhashan char,” Ms. Bachelet said after visiting several sites inside a camp.

They described their grievances, their pains, how they left and lost everything they have – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 

Yesterday she underscored that civic space and enabling conditions were key for society to play its crucial role in identifying and helping resolve #HumanRights challenges in the country.
The High Commissioner reiterated the importance of continuing to ensure that safe and sustainable conditions exist for any returns and that they be conducted in a voluntary and dignified way.

Drawing to a close

The top UN human rights official met with religious leaders as well as women and youth groups who shared with her their concerns and hopes.
“The UN is doing the best we can to support them. We’ll continue doing that,” she said.
A busy street in the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

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