UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth has revealed that the Rohingya refugees, who have been taking shelter in Bangladesh after fleeing from Rakhine state in Myanmar, still feel that they will not be safe in their homes in Myanmar.
Forsyth said this after meeting Rohinya refugees from Myanmar during his visit to Cox’s Bazar.
Speaking media persons during a press conference in Dhaka on Thursday, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Forsyth said he was leaving Bangladesh “feeling very strongly that we have to redouble our effort to make sure that we create right conditions in Rakhine State for people to go home”.
“And at this moment, the Rohingya families do not believe it would be safe and secure to go back home in Rakhine,” Forsyth said, as reported by bdnews24.com as the two countries are preparing to start the repatriation process following agreements.
However, Forsyth lauded Bangladesh for signing the deal with Myanmar for repatriation of the Rohingya refugees.
Forsyth added that the right thing to do is the repatriation deal saying, “Bangladesh should be commended for that. But violence is still continuing (there).”
Stating that it would be ‘premature’ to send back the violence-hit Rohingya refugees to Rakhine State, he further said that said 58 per cent of the inmates in Kutapalong refugee camp are children, many of whom are still traumatised by their experiences of violence.
He observed that the Rohingya children can be sent back from Bangladesh only if the security and unimpeded humanitarian access in Myanmar are improved.
“It is critical that their rights and needs in terms of protection and aid are front and centre in any agreement to return families to Myanmar. Return of refugees to Myanmar must be voluntary, safe and dignified,” the UNICEF deputy executive director added as reported by the bdnews24.com.