CSOs urge the Bangladesh PM to uphold Rights of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar District Camps amid COVID-19 spread
As if the plight of the persecuted Rohingya could get any worse, in the largest refugee settlement globally, they are now being penned in with barbed-wire fencing with the internet and telecommunications cut off and authorities confiscating SIM cards. At a time when we are all hungrily accessing hourly updates on COVID-19 imagine the terror of being cut off physically and technologically, once more awaiting the worst.
The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed outside the camp in Cox’s Bazaar district on 24 March 2020. With Healthcare workers having no means of sharing the critical health information to the camps, 1 million inhabitants are going to be forced to deliver that information in person, heightening their own risk to exposure.
Social distancing is impossible in camps such as Cox’s Bazar and access to health and sanitation poor. For more information, see the Joint Letter signed by 50 civil society organisations Re: Restrictions on Communication, Fencing, and COVID-19 in Cox’s Bazar District Rohingya Refugee Camps and GRC’s upcoming piece on this topic on the Just Security blog as part of GRC’s blog series on the impact of coronavirus on humanitarian access in starvation-affected countries.
For more on GRC’s work with the Rohingya, visit www.globalrightscompliance.com/en/projects
For a user-friendly tool offering free legal access to international best practice on documentation and legal instruments see GRC’s BIS App, available to download for free. The BIS App has already been used by CSOs documenting the violations against the Rohingya.