BURMA TASK FORCE
In the aftermath of the positive ruling by the International Court of Justice, Burma Task Force is strategizing about next steps. In the third week of March we will be hosting the Gambian minister who brought the case to the court in a series of events in Chicago, New York and Washington DC, among other locations. Stay tuned!
In next week’s Alert we will write more fully about the new US visa ban and how it is impacting travelers from Burma. There is considerable concern and we are exploring co-organizing town halls and webinars.
Last week, after a year and a half, the Government of Bangladesh finally agreed to allow Rohingya children access to education in its refugee camps. This is hopeful news for the future of the one million Rohingya in the camps in Bangladesh. Burma Task Force has already sent a statement as well as a letter to the Foreign Ministry. There are limitations— young people over 14 will be offered jobs training rather than education—but this is an important start. To encourage support for education we ask you offer positive comments to the Government as well as some suggestions, as below:
ACTION NEEDED. Please contact:
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister’s Office,
Old Sangshad Bhaban, Teigaon,
Dhaka 1215 Bangladesh
Foreign Minister’s Office https://mofa.portal.gov.bd/forms/form/feedback-forms-fm
and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mofadhaka/
CC: Bangladesh Mission at the UN: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bangladesh Embassy in Canada: (613) 236-0138
Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter: @MoFA_Bangladesh
CC: UNICEF in Bangladesh: @UNICEFBD; UNHCR in Bangladesh: @UNHCR_BGD
- Thanks to the Government of Bangladesh for recognizing the need for education among Rohingya refugees. Rohingya have been asking for this. Young people are the future and their hearts and minds require knowledge as well as food and shelter. This is an investment in the future, and we hope the programming will not be delayed.
- However, we remain concerned by government plans to relocate Rohingya to isolated areas. And though security is important, we are sorry that cellphone access has been restricted, as this prevents families from communicating to members outside the camps. Please consider policies that will build partnerships with Rohingya leaders, give them responsibilities and positive roles, and make them stakeholders in their own future.