Dhaka, September 12 (The Daily Star): Bangladesh today hosts the biggest refugee camp in the world. It became so, suddenly and brutally. The flow of refugees was not a trickle but a monsoon flood.
But unlike many countries of the world, we (Bangladeshis) rose to the occasion. It was with the warmest of hearts and deepest empathy for human suffering that we welcomed nearly a million Rohingya refugees.
That warmth of heart is on the wane though our empathy remains just as deep.
This change came gradually as we saw no end to the problem in sight. The latest instance of the mockery of an exercise at repatriation came as a rude shock. Anybody with the slightest of knowledge of the ground reality appears to have known that it would not work and yet all went through the ritual as if it was a game.
Why is the world silent about the genocide of the Rohingya people? Why the wholesale removal of nearly a million Rohingyas from their homes and throwing them out of their country not a matter of greater international attention? Why the recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission are not reflected more on the UN’s agenda?
- At least 31 people have been killed allegedly by fellow Rohingyas in the camps
- At least 55 Rohingyas were arrested in connection with murders
- Many others abducted for ransom
- Clashes among Rohingyas take place often over establishing supremacy in the camps
- At least 10 Rohingyas, including alleged Yaba (drug) peddlers and robbers, were killed in separate incidents of “gunfight” with law enforcers
- Criminal activities including drug and Yaba dealing, murders, abductions are on the rise in the areas where refugee camps are located
- At least 328 cases have been filed against over 700 Rohingyas over various crimes since August 2017
- Bangladesh authorities have deployed over 2,000 policemen in the camps
- Yaba smuggling and drug dealing are on the rise since the exodus began in August 2017
- Over 20 Rohingyas, including women, have so far been held with Yaba, hemp
- Law enforcers have made numerous Yaba hauls during separate drives in Cox’s Bazar region
- Local drug lords are involved in syndicates that exploit Rohingyas for smuggling Yaba
- Gangs under transnational human trafficking syndicates operate from Teknaf to send the Rohingyas to different destinations via sea routes
- Over 130 Rohingyas were rescued by law enforcers from being trafficked from the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in separate drives recently
Traffickers exploit Rohingya men, women, and children from refugee camps for both sex and labor trafficking, including domestic servitude, says a US report
- Traffickers defraud and coerce Rohingya women and girls from refugee camps into sex trafficking through fraudulent job or marriage proposals, and abduction
- Trafficking destinations include Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Middle East
- Rohingya girls are also being exploited in child sex tourism in Cox’s Bazar and elsewhere