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Authorities Should Ensure Safety of All Refugees

Taher, a Rohingya Christian pastor, and his 14-year-old daughter were abducted from their shelter in a refugee camp in Bangladesh on the morning of January 27. The previous night scores of men attacked 22 Christian families living in…
Rohingya refugees walk inside Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh January 8, 2018.
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Bangladesh Allows Kids to Receive Formal Education

Bangladesh will allow 10,000 ethnic Rohingya refugee children to get a formal school curriculum for the first time after the government approved a “pilot” education program. It’s a step in the right direction, but also an urgent reminder of how…
Rohingya refugee students demonstrate
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Fencing, Internet Cutoff Restricts Rohingya Freedom of Movement, Information

Bangladesh Army Chief Gen. Aziz Ahmed said this week that a plan to surround the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar with barbed wire fences and guard towers was “in full swing.” The plan is the latest in a series of policies…
A refugee camp for Rohingya in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, August 21, 2019.
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Myanmar Delegation Fails to Make Convincing Case for Safe Return

Myanmar officials arrived at the sprawling refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh this week to discuss the repatriation of the Rohingya population. Armed with “fact” sheets, colorful brochures, and PowerPoint…
Rohingya refugee girls cross a makeshift bamboo bridge at Kutupalong refugee camp, where they have been living amid uncertainty over their future after they fled Myanmar to escape violence a year ago, in Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018.
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Government Should Prioritize Safety in Relocation Efforts

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Abdul Momen recently warned that the coming monsoon season will bring serious risk to Rohingya refugees living in settlements in Cox’s Bazar. But instead of calling for practical safeguards…
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Relocating Refugees to Unsafe Island Would Risk Lives, Livelihoods

Bangladesh authorities say they will soon start relocating over 100,000 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char, a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal. Officials said this is necessary to reduce pressure on the world’s largest refugee settlement…
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“They Will Kill Us If We Go Back”

“How can we go back?” Mohammad, a Rohingya refugee in a Bangladesh camp called to tell me. “They will kill us if we go back.” There is panic in the refugee camps, he said, after Myanmar and Bangladesh announced plans to start refugee…
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Governments Should Press Myanmar to Meet Necessary Conditions for Return

A few days shy of August 25 – the first anniversary of Myanmar’s massive and brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing that forcibly displaced 725,000 Rohingya Muslims into neighboring Bangladesh – Myanmar’s de facto leader, Nobel Peace Prize…
Rohingya refugees walk through rice fields after crossing the border from Myanmar into Palang Khali, Bangladesh, October 19, 2017.
News

Some Students, Teachers, Medical Workers Released

The recent release of 200,000 university students and some teachers and medical workers from forced labor picking cotton in Uzbekistan came shortly after World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s first meeting with the country’s new president, Shavkat…
News

Deadly Experiences in Bosnia and Sri Lanka Should Serve as Warning

When Bangladesh’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, spoke at the United Nations General Assembly this week, she focused on the humanitarian challenges of hosting 400,000 Rohingya Muslims from northern Rakhine State in Burma. They have arrived destitute,…
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Serbia, Hungary Leave People Without Adequate Shelter as Winter Hits Hard

While many in Serbia prepare for Orthodox Christmas, others in the country and neighboring Hungary are bedding down in freezing cold weather hoping to survive. Temperatures in Hungary and Serbia have dropped to minus 20 degrees centigrade at night.…
Asylum seekers and migrants living in appalling conditions in abandoned warehouses behind Belgrade train station, Serbia. November 22, 2016.
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Government Should Implement Law Providing for Inclusive Education

Today, September 1st, will be an exciting first day of school for most Serbian children. But for many children with disabilities, it will be just one more day without a chance to learn, make friends, and interact with peers and teachers. Take for…
A living room in Veternik Institution where children and adults with disabilities spend most of their days. There are no toys, education materials, or carpets on the floor. The only available source of stimulation is a TV attached to the wall.
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“I have been here for five days already, outside and without a roof over my head. I can’t sleep, it’s too cold, and I have to be awake in case they [police] call my number.” Ahmed, 21, was one of hundreds of single Afghan men…
Two Afghan asylum seekers sleeping on the ground outside a registration camp in Dimitrovgrad, Serbia.
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The Hungarian government’s problematic approach to asylum seekers and migrants has hit a new low. The changes to the Hungarian asylum law as of August 1, among other things, mean that asylum claims from anyone entering via a country on a safe “third”…
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A report reveals that the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, its quasi-independent accountability mechanism, won’t investigate whether the bank is perpetuating forced labor in Uzbekistan, even though its initial examination found that bank projects in the…
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It would appear obvious to anyone paying the least bit of attention to the turmoil in Ukraine that it’s not the safest place to be right now. But in the eyes of the United Kingdom, France and Norway, Ukraine is considered a “safe country of origin.” That…