A human rights group requested Bangladesh’s government to relinquish plans to move Rohingya Muslim refugees to a small, desolate island that faces the intense risk of flooding. In a report issued by the Human Rights Watch on 6th August, it has been said that international experts have determined six sites near the current camp where the Rohingya Muslims are staying as a better alternative. In fact, sites which have been spotted are also safer and can easily house over a quarter of million people. In the current camp, almost 700000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are staying.
The organization pointed out that the plan to move a compelling number of refugees to a less densely packed camp with few environmental risks or enough services, is imperative for the health and well-being of the refugees. The organization further warned the plan of the government to relocate 100,000 people to Bhasan Char Island. The island apart from becoming vulnerable to flooding also lacks the guarantee of freedom of movement. It would turn into a de facto detention center for the immigrants.
Bhasan Char seems inappropriate for refugee habitation as the island gets flooded in the event of a high tide. The report also focused on six viable relocation sites, which lies to the west of the current Kutupalong-Balukhali and the location can house around 263,000 people.
The huge influx of refugees into Bangladesh started after the Rohingya rebels attacked security personnel. Myanmar’s military responded to the attack with combat and burning Rohingya villages. The report also stated the problems being faced by the refugees as it’s very crowded. It has been also stated that the current camp is not sustainable and the refugees face the risk of a disease epidemic, tensions among community, fire, domestic and sexual violence. The Bangladeshi government claimed that the camps are temporary, till the refuges can return back to their homes.
The organization called other donor governments and intergovernmental organizations to assist Bangladesh by sending humanitarian aid and pressurize Myanmar to provide a safe return of the Rohingya to their homes.