OPINION

Rohingya refugees are being ignored

The world must better support the Rohingya, and address the politics of why they have sought refuge in the first place.

Rohingya refugee children at the Balukhali camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, in 2018 [Reuters]
Rohingya refugee children at the Balukhali camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, in 2018 [Reuters]

Solidarity around the world for people who are victims of political or human rights abuses should not know any boundaries. And those of us that spoke up for Aung San Suu Kyi when she was under house arrest – those of us who marched and called for her release – will also speak up for the Rohingya people.

There are approximately one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who have been driven out of their homes in Rakhine state in Myanmar.

With the world’s attention focused on so much of what is happening in the Middle East, with refugees trying to enter Europe, or refugees in Europe not getting the support they should, the Rohingya refugees are being ignored, and the causes of them seeking a place of safety are also being ignored. Those are the crucial issues that have to be addressed.

We need to give more economic support to the Rohingya refugees in the camps. But we also have to turn our attention to the politics of why they have sought refuge in the first place. And that is the systematic abuse of their rights, abuse of their language and abuse of their faith in Myanmar.

The international community has to address why people are effectively being driven out of their own country by a process which looks very much like ethnic cleansing in that part of Myanmar. It has to be done and it has to be said, because if it isn’t, then what is the future?

The views expressed in this video are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.



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