PRESS RELEASE | January 31, 2020

Rohingya Action Ireland welcomes Bangladesh’s commitment allowing formal education to Rohingya children

Rohingya Action Ireland heartily welcomes the decision of the government of Bangladesh to allow formal education to Rohingya children in refugee camps located in Cox’s Bazar.

The decision comes at a time when nearly half a million Rohingya children are deprived of formal education since they were forced to flee the genocide in Myanmar in October 2016. Rohingya children and youngers were barred from pursuing formal education taught either Myanmar or Bangladesh curriculum in the refugee camps.

As the result coupled with Myanmar’s denial of higher education and discriminatory policies, many human rights organisations and Rohingya groups have voiced out the Rohingya community is in great danger of extreme illiteracy, poverty, exploitations and hindrance to social justice, equality and development.

Bangladesh’s commitment to allowing Rohingya refugee children access to education is highly applaudable considering the level of burdens that the country has faced to accommodate and shelter over a million Rohingya refugees since 1991.

The statement of Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen, “We don’t want a lost generation of Rohingya. We want them to have education.”, reinvigorates and rekindles hope of generations of Rohingya refugees who constantly seek opportunities for formal education despite going through traumas of genocide that they have encountered in their homeland in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar.

Education is a universal human right. States Parties, signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) like Bangladesh, has an obligation to promote and provide education to children.

Bangladesh’s commitment upholding the obligation in providing formal education to Rohingya refugee children is commendable.

“The government has felt the need to keep Rohingya children’s hope for the future alive with extending education and skills training to them,” Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen also echoes the importance of education and reaffirms its commitment.

Rohingya Action Ireland calls upon the international community to support the government of Bangladesh in implementing its commitment and invest in the education of Rohingya children which will pull “the lost generation” out of despair, inequality, injustice, underdevelopment and exploitations.

For more information:
Mohammed Rafique
Stephanie McDermott

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