ActionAid UK calls for justice for women and girls on the second anniversary of the Rohingya crisis
Two years after mass atrocities in Myanmar forced more than 740,000 people to flee for their lives, ActionAid UK are concerned about reports by the Government of Myanmar that 3,450 Rohingya refugees are eligible to return to Rakhine State on 22nd August.
The Bangladesh Government have stated that repatriation will be voluntary but refugees report feeling fearful about possible expedited returns to a state where violence against the Rohingya is on the rise.
ActionAid UK want any repatriation of Rohingya refugees to be informed, voluntary, dignified and safe. The international community must particularly listen to Rohingya women, who are calling for a solution to their plight that ensures their safety and delivers justice.
Rachid Boumnijel, Deputy Director for Humanitarian at ActionAid UK said:
“More than one million people now live in the camps in Cox’s Bazar and Rohingya women and girls have borne the brunt of this refugee crisis. Many suffered sexual violence, saw their relatives killed, and led their families on a traumatic journey to safety. Today, women and girls face the threat of violence in the camps, as well as the burden of supporting the household alone.
“Above all we should listen to the needs of women, and their families. They must confident that they are being heard, and their safety and protection from repeat violence must be assured. There must be no forced return.
“The international community, especially the UN Security Council, must act to ensure justice for the refugees – in particular, Rohingya women and girls. The British government is a global leader on the prevention of sexual violence in conflict and has provided continued financial support to the Rohingya response. As the diplomatic ‘penholder’ on the Rohingya refugee issue at the UN, the UK should continue to urge the Security Council to take urgent action”
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Notes to editors
1. ActionAid is an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty. Our dedicated local staff are helping end violence against women and girls and changing lives, for good. We won’t stop until women and girls are out of danger, out of poverty and on track to create the future they want.
2. More information about ActionAid’s work with Rohingya refugees can be found here.