UNHCR assistant high commissioner for protection Volker Turkhas laid emphasis on safe and dignified return of the Rohingya people to their place of origin in Myanmar with full restoration of their rights.
‘Their future lies in returning in a condition of safety, dignity and with full restoration of their rights,’ said the UN refugee agency official in a video message on Monday from the Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar.
He said that it was absolutely clear that they, who were now stateless people, belonged to Myanmar.
Turk is currently visiting Bangladesh to assess the situation of the Rohingya people in Bangladesh and explore potential solutions.
Director of the division of external relations Dominique Hyde and director of the bureau for Asia and the Pacific Indrika Ratwatte are accompanying him.
Turk said that the Rohingya people had been denied a sense of belonging and were suffering repression.
‘It’s very important that they are in safety as we can see here in the camps around Cox’s Bazar,’ he said.
He said that the Rohingya people here had a sense of belonging now and that was precisely what the registration did.
The group spent the day meeting Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar.
They also visited one of the five centres in the refugee settlements where the joint Bangladesh government and UNHCR registration exercise continued.
More than 110,000 refugees had now received new fraud-proof identity cards, according to UNHCR.
For many, it’s the first proper identity documents they have had — vital for their protection and access to services.
UNHCR said that registration played a key role in establishing that individuals had been displaced from Myanmar and had the right to return to their country when it was safe for them to do so.
Turk began his Bangladesh on March 16 and will wrap up his visit on March 22, said an official.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya people, officials said.
Over 745,000 Rohingya people, including more than 400,000 children, had fled from Myanmar’s Rakhine state to Bangladesh since August 2017.
More than 16,000 Rohingya had arrived since January 2018.
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