Local, national and international NGOs on Wednesday demanded Rohingyas’ engagement in safe and voluntary return to their homeland Myanmar.
In a joint statement, 61 NGOs made the call to both Bangladesh and Myanmar governments following the news of repatriating 3,450 Rohingya refugees on Thursday, said a press release of the ActionAid Bangladesh.
The organisations also expressed their concerns over the possibility of worsening human crisis in Myanmar as the current conditions there do not guarantee the safety and security of the Rohingyas.
Myanmar’s present conditions are not safe for the Rohingya refugees as there is no meaningful development in practising human rights and ensure free movement of Rohingyas in Rakhine state, they said in the statement.
The scope for discussion with the displaced community is also very limited.
The NGOs demanded ensuring refugees’ engagement in the repatriation process, including their right to making a free, informed decision about their return.
They urged all parties to ensure meaningful participation of Rohingyas in decision-making processes about their future and respect Rohingya’s human rights in Myanmar.
A recent report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute found that not only have preparations for return been minimal, but authorities continue to raze Rohingya villages to make room for military bases and potential repatriation camps, said the statement.
The recent upsurge in violence has worsened the already precarious humanitarian situation in central and northern Rakhine state.
The NGOs said the Myanmar government must ensure the basic rights of the Rohingyas and the safety of other communities of Rakhine state so that they can access basic services and opportunities to earn their livings.
Two years have passed since mass atrocities in Myanmar forced more than 740,000 Rohingyas to cross the border to save their lives.