The UN refugee agency UNHCR has acknowledged that facilities in Bhashan Char for Rohingyas are much better than in Cox's Bazar camps.
Officials from the agency pledged to continue working on their mandate to assist refugees wherever they are located in Bangladesh.
Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees (Protection) Rouf Mazou and Assistant High Commissioner for Operations Gillian Teiggs, from the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, talked to the media after holding a meeting with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at State Guest House Padma in the capital on Wednesday.
The government and the international community need to ensure that Rohingyas live with dignity in Bhashan Char, said Mazou as he shared his experience of visiting the island on Monday. Bangladesh built a township in Bhashan Char to relocate 100,000 Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar camps.
Admitting that the Bangladesh government had made important investments in Bhashan Char, Mazou underscored the need for ensuring economic activities in the island.
"It is clear that when you live in an island like Bhashan Char, you feel isolated," he said, adding that Rohingyas must have education, healthcare and livelihoods in the island.
Bhashan Char is an opportunity that should be used best before Rohingyas return to Myanmar, Mazou said. The government and the UNHCR are discussing when the UN bodies can begin operations in Bhashan Char, he added.
Since December last year, some 20,000 Rohingyas have been relocated from Cox's Bazar to the island.
About third country resettlement, Gillian Triggs said it could be done for vulnerable people and for a very small group.
"But it (third country resettlement) is not a long-term solution," she said, adding that repatriation of Rohingyas to their own land in Myanmar is the ultimate solution.
During the officials' tour to Bhashan Char, Rohingyas staged a demonstration demanding livelihood, money and repatriation or third country resettlement.
The crowd had interactions with the UNHCR officials when they vented out their frustration over repatriation. At the time, Rohingyas confirmed that their relocation to Bhashan Char was completely voluntary.
Rohingyas demanded UN's presence in Bhashan Char to facilitate education, livelihood and skill development, according to a press release issued by the foreign ministry.
Bangladesh Navy has implemented the Ashryan-3 project at Bhashan Char, an island 37 miles off the mainland under the administrative jurisdiction of Hatiya, at the cost of Tk3,100 crore.
A total of 120 brick-built cluster villages and 120 cyclone shelters, facilities for education, healthcare, farming and fishing and playgrounds make the island a much better living place for Rohingyas than Cox's Bazar camps.
The move was taken after some 750,000 Rohingyas fled a military crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state in 2017 and took shelter in Teknaf and Ukhia of Cox's Bazar.