Living in limbo away from their homeland: What’s next for Rohingya refugees
Nearly one million Rohingya refugees are living in the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh with no promise of safely returning home to Myanmar in the near future.
“The government of Bangladesh, for it’s own reasons, sees this as a temporary crisis that will be resolved by the return of the Rohingya to their own country,” Bob Rae, Special Envoy for Myanmar told Context‘s Lorna Dueck last month.
Plans to repatriate the refugees fell apart earlier this month, when no Rohingya volunteered to return to the country that drove them away through unspeakable violence.
“Children are extremely afraid of being forced to go back to a county where they experienced horrific violence and are in no way promised to be protected if they’re forced to return,” Lindsay Gladding, humanitarian emergency affairs director from World Vision Canada told Context‘s Molly Thomas when the repatriation was first announced, and it is still not clear whether it will be voluntary or not.
Bangladesh has also started building concrete camps to relocate the Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char island. The Guardian obtained exclusive video of the structures under construction. The source who provided the footage told The Guardian the place seemed, “eerie; so many hundreds of thousands of prison-like units fit for an entire city of Rohingya.”