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Jakarta Post

Rights groups want ASEAN to listen to Rohingya refugees as repatriation fails

  • Dian Septiari
    Dian Septiari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, October 25, 2019   /  05:24 pm
Rights groups want ASEAN to listen to Rohingya refugees as repatriation fails Rohingya refugees shout slogans at a protest against a disputed repatriation program at the Unchiprang refugee camp near Teknaf, Bangladesh, on Nov. 15, 2018. Frightened and angry Rohingya refugees forced Bangladesh to call off efforts to start sending back some of the hundreds of thousands of the stateless Muslims to Myanmar, casting fresh doubt on the repatriation program. (AFP/Dibyangshu Sarkar)

ASEAN’s failure to help repatriate Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh this year should be a lesson that an inclusive approach would be key to handling the crisis and ensuring the refugees would voluntarily return to Myanmar, rights groups have said. Myanmar is currently working with ASEAN to prepare for a safe, dignified and voluntary return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh to avoid persecution since 2017. The Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) from the bloc’s disaster mitigation agency, the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center), visited Myanmar’s Rakhine state in March and wrote recommendations from a preliminary needs assessment of the refugee population in Bangladesh. However, not a single Rohingya refugee has voluntarily returned out of fear for their safety in ...