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Bangladeshi Government Should Consult With Rohingya Refugees, Facilitate Relocation To Land With Fewer Environmental Risks

Washington Post: Relocating Rohingya refugees to a flood-prone island is a dangerous idea
Bill Frelick, refugee rights program director at Human Rights Watch

“…Monsoon season is here, and high winds and flooding are happening now. … It is crucial to relocate the Rohingya refugees to places in Bangladesh with fewer environmental risks and adequate standards of services. But a proposed alternative by the authorities is likely far more dangerous. The Bangladesh navy and Chinese construction crews have prepared Bhasan Char, an uninhabited island in the Bay of Bengal, for the transfer of 100,000 refugees from the Cox’s Bazar area … Bhasan Char is not sustainable for human habitation and could be seriously affected by rising sea levels and storm surges. … It would unnecessarily isolate refugees. … Moreover, refugees have not consented to move there. … [T]he Bangladeshi authorities should consult with the refugees and facilitate the voluntary relocation of those who want to leave the mega camp to smaller, less densely packed camps on flat, accessible land nearby. This offers the best prospect for maintaining a sustainable, dignified life until it is safe to go home” (8/6).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.