UN & ASEAN Continue to Exclude Rohingya Refugee Voices

June 8th, 2019  •  Author:   Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights  •  2 minute read

Yesterday AFP media reported a leaked copy of the ASEAN Preliminary Needs Assessment for Repatriation in Rakhine State. The document is secret and we Rohingya refugees were not consulted in the assessment.

The ASEAN say Myanmar will only accept 500,000 Rohingya back to Myanmar but there are over 1 million of us living in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. The experts in the UN IFFM report last year said 725,000 Rohingya fled violence and persecution in Myanmar in 2017 and 2018. So we want to ask what will ASEAN and Myanmar do about other 500,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladsh?

The ASEAN report congratulate Myanmar for increase the security forces in Rakhine in Rakhine State. Rohingya has been victims of genocide by Myanmar security forces for decades. What will ASEAN and Myanmar do to stop these forces from continuing the genocide against Rohingya when we return home?

The ASEAN report also does not use our ethnic name: Rohingya. Many ASEAN countries like Malaysia and Indonesia visit the camp to take photo with us and call us Rohingya to our face but now they refuse to give us dignity. Why is ASEAN organization not using our ethnic name?
Just like the recent extension of the Myanmar, UNDP and UNHCR secret MoU, Rohingya refugee leaders are not being consulted about the decision that directly affect our human rights. Why is it so difficult for ASEAN and the UN to consult us and respect our human rights and dignity?

We know the answer to all of these three questions. ASEAN and UN view Roingya as a crisis and problem. They do not view us as human being with rights and dignity.

We want to make it clear to the world that ASEAN and UNHCR do not speak on behalf of the Rohingya refugees. Rohingya refugees can speak for ourselves.

There will be no repatriation without talking to us.