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    Posted June 16, 2014 by
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    Discussing Actions to Protect and Assist Stateless Peoples Bangladesh

    Bangladesh has over 200,000 Rohingya refugees from Burma in the eastern region, and, in recent years, recognized the nationality rights of large numbers of Urdu-speaking minority (also known as Biharis).The Rohingya ethnic minority of Burma is one of the most persecuted and one of the largest stateless groups in the world. They are the only ethnic group in Burma restricted in marriage, traveling beyond their village or building or maintaining religious structures.
    Another 200,000 Rohingya refugees reside in unofficial camps or Bangladeshi villages where there is no legal protection from arrest or abuse and little to no humanitarian assistance. These unregistered refugees live by a hand-to-mouth existence – only marginally worse off than the host population. The lack of assistance for both unregistered refugees and host communities have increased tensions over scarce resources such as water and firewood, leading to physical and sexual violence against refugees, particularly women and girls. Almost 35% of women and girls in Bangladesh have experienced some kind of sexual violence. There is little security for undocumented refugees and no access to the police or justice system.
    Bangladesh is home to some 200,000 Urdu speaking minorities who, during the country’s civil war with Pakistan, took the side of Pakistan. As a result, many lost their homes, jobs and positions in society and were forced eventually to take up residence in more than 100 overcrowded and now dilapidated urban camp settlements. A large percentage of the adults were registered to vote in the 2009 election. Despite being registered as voters and recognized as citizens, many Urdu speakers still are unable to obtain government jobs, access credit, get passports or obtain compensation for their property confiscated during the war After decades of isolation and discrimination, the group is 94% illiterate, almost double the national rate. .
    One solution was introduced in September 2007, when the Bangladeshi interim government announced its decision to grant citizenship to stateless Biharis born after 1971. For almost two years, RI has been calling for citizenship for more than 250,000 Biharis who live in 66 camps throughout the country and are locked out of job and education opportunities. A proposed solution for the committee is to consider a strengthened border between India and Pakistan so that Bangladesh refugees do not come into their country. This could be efficiently done if the governments of both the countries agree on funding half of the money, so that a strengthened border can be developed. To get both India and Pakistan agree on this proposal, you discuss the pros and cons of this issue, and then sign an agreement between both those countries.
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