Rohingya Refugee Children In Bangladesh Being Denied Education: HRW

(@FahadShabbir)

Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh being denied education: HRW

NEW YORK, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th Dec, 2019 ) :Human Rights Watch (HRW), a prominent international watchdog group, says the Bangladeshi government has been depriving nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslim refugee children in the South Asian country of the right to education.

The New York-based group said this in an 81-page report, titled "'Are We Not Human?': Denial of Education for Rohingya Refugee Children in Bangladesh," released on Tuesday.

Rohingya children are prohibited from enrolling in local schools, Human Rights Watch says, basing on interviews with teachers, aid workers, government officials and more than 150 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. More than 700,000 mostly-Muslim Rohingya refugees from majority-Buddhist Myanmar's western Rakhine state live in crowded camps in the country.

U.N. humanitarian groups and international NGOs are also barred from providing formal accredited education to Rohingya children, says the report. Unable to open official schools, some NGOs have built bamboo structures to serve as learning centers, but these reportedly lack water, electricity, desks and chairs.

"Bangladesh has made it clear that it doesn't want the Rohingya to remain indefinitely, but depriving children of education just compounds the harm to the children and won't resolve the refugees' plight any faster," Bill Van Esveld, HRW associate children's rights director, said.

The report added that the Bangladeshi government's insistence that the refugees return to Myanmar had led it to ban humanitarian groups from building permanent, brick-and-mortar school structures in the refugee camps.

"Persisting with the ban on formal education is harmful to Bangladesh's own interests and devastating for a new generation of Rohingya children and the future of the Rohingya community as a whole," the HRW report further said.

The rights group also called on Dhaka to immediately approve and support the use of its curriculum in the camps, stressing that Bangladesh should let aid groups provide quality education, including through the formal Bangladeshi and Myanmarese curricula, to the refugee children.

Rohingya Muslims, recognized by the UN as the world's most persecuted minority group, are denied Myanmarese citizenship as the country's leadership brands them illegal immigrants from Bangladeshi, which, for its part, says they are from Myanmar.

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