More than half a million Rohingya in Bangladesh get ID cards for first time: UN refugee agency

© UNHCR/Caroline Gluck A UNHCR officer helps register Rohingya refugees in Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. (24 July 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees who fled a brutal crackdown in Myanmar two years ago, have received identification cards that the UN insisted on Friday were critical to safeguarding their right to return home.

Issued to all refugees over the age of 12, in camps in southern Bangladesh, the biometric, fraud-proof card is for many, the first time that they have owned an official document that proves their identity.

“Most of these people are stateless and most of these people have not had any form of identification document, so for the vast majority of the Rohingya refugees, this is the first ID, a first proof of identity that they have,” UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told journalists in Geneva.

An estimated 900,000 Rohingya refugees live in crowded settlements in Cox’s Bazar, according to UNHCR, which is working with the Bangladeshi authorities to complete the operation.

More than 740,000 of those in camps fled from neighbouring Myanmar in the last two years amid State-led violence described as tantamount to ethnic cleansing, by the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“The point here is first and foremost to protect and safeguard the right of these people to return to the places they came from”, Mr. Mahecic told journalists in Geneva.

The development comes amid ongoing reports of violence between State forces and ethnic separatists in Myanmar and concerns by UN-appointed rights experts and agencies that conditions are not suitable for the safe return of refugees in place such as Rakhine state.

“There are a number of agreements that have been signed both bilaterally and trilaterally in relation to the potential repatriation,” Mr. Mahecic said, in reference to accords signed between the UN, Myanmar and Bangladesh, the aim of which is to create conditions that are suitable for the return of ethnic, predominantly Muslim Rohingya to Rakhine.

He added: “We have made clear all along, that any repatriation needs to be voluntary and it needs to be in line with the international standards.”

On average, 5,000 refugees are registered daily, at seven different sites in Cox’s Bazar.

More than 550 local staff have been recruited, UNHCR said, with the goal of completing the registration process during the last quarter of 2019.

Although the identity cards carry unique biometric data that includes fingerprints and iris scans, Mr. Mahecic stressed that they were not citizenship documents for Myanmar.

“These cards are basically their registration,” he said. “They regulate their stay in Bangladesh. People will need to have obviously a pathway to citizenship, and a different set of identification if and when they return.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Eliminating hepatitis calls for ‘bold political leadership, with investments to match,’ UN health chief says

UN chief calls for ‘enlightened self-interest’ from world leaders to save ‘the whole planet’ from climate change

UN rights chief ‘strongly’ condemns ‘shocking’ mass executions in Saudi Arabia

China’s lead in the global solar race – at a glance

Palestine refugees’ relief chief warns Security Council money to fund Gaza operations will run out in mid-June

Tax Inspectors Without Borders making significant progress toward strengthening developing countries’ ability to effectively tax multinational enterprises

Women’s voices must be heard in the battle to save the ocean

EU adopts new €100 million assistance package to benefit refugees and local communities in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq

IMF: European banks do not perform their duty to real economy

EU Trust Fund for Africa: new migration-related actions to protect vulnerable people and foster resilience of host communities in North of Africa

Food safety: more transparency, better risk prevention

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

EU Commission indifferent on Court of Auditors’ recommendations

How each country’s share of global CO2 emissions changes over time

Which countries have the highest unemployment rates?

Health & Sustainable Development Goals: it’s about doing what we can

Here are 5 security challenges Nigeria’s leader must tackle

At COP24, countries agree concrete way forward to bring the Paris climate deal to life

Main results of Environment Council of 09 October 2018

Release of prize-winning Reuters journalists in Myanmar welcomed by UN

Is the EU competent enough to fight human smuggling in 2015?

Three ways Finland leads the world – and education isn’t one of them

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

EU Council: The US airlines may freely pollute the European air

Slovakia and its failure to abide by the European law

From cheeseburgers to coral reefs, the science of decision-making can change the world

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

Better training ‘a necessary and strategic investment’ in peacekeeping that saves lives: Guterres

COP24: World sports join team UN in race against climate change

‘We need to do more’ to transform the world, deputy UN chief tells African audiences

ECB guarantees the liquidity of the Atlantic financial volume

These countries are pioneering hydrogen power

Businesses, governments and consumers to implement a more climate-friendly approach to #BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day 2018

European Development Days 2013

The mother of all fights about inflation, growth and banks

Europe on the Move: Commission completes its agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility

Tunisia wants to change inheritance rules to boost gender equality

ECB indicates south Europeans can endure more austerity

The movement of anti-vaccers: taking humanity back 200 years

What if big-tech companies became non-profits?

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

Spotlight Initiative – EU and UN fight against domestic violence in the Pacific region

Global economy to see ‘steady’ growth of three per cent in 2019 despite risks, says UN

The Ecofin Council creates officially the clan of ‘undead’ banks

Collaboration: the key to success in the digital economy

Boosting adult learning essential to help people adapt to future of work

EU’s unsparing question to UK: now what kind of future relations do you want?

Outgoing UN official praises Iraq’s ‘exemplary peaceful transfer of power’ at the top

EU Commission draws the wrong conclusions

Robots will soon be a necessity but they won’t take all our jobs

Tackling ‘deeply worrying’ global rise in anti-Semitism is a job for all societies everywhere, says UN chief

Mankind’s first tool to fight malaria also kills

Euro celebrates its 20th birthday

How smarter machines can make us smarter humans

G20: Less growth, more austerity for developing countries

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

From drones to health data, how Japan can power ahead

ECB offers plenty and cheap liquidity to support growth in all Eurozone countries

Accountability in Sudan ‘crucial’ to avoid ‘further bloodshed’, says UN rights office

Forget about growth without a level playing field for all SMEs

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s