The High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, Michelle Bachelet, visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar on Tuesday and witnessed first-hand their plight.
In her maiden visit to Bangladesh, the UN rights chief spoke to the Rohingya leaders, religious preachers, youth and women’s representatives in three separate sessions and asked about their well-being in the camps and their wish to return to military-ruled Myanmar.
Rohingyas said that they expressed their willingness to return with their rights granted.
Following their meeting held at camp-4 in Ukhia, the Rohingyas told the media that the High Commissioner advised them not to return home until the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state improved.
In the meeting with Rohingya women, Bachelet wanted to know about the law and order situation in the camps.
Rohingya woman Gul Nahar told the media that they told the High Commissioner the security in the camps was revised following some recent incidents.
She said that the UN rights chief also assured them of her support for their repatriation to their own land.
Local mosque Imam Mohammad Zamil told the media that the High Commissioner wanted to know the reason behind the clashes inside the camps.
He said they told Bachelet that they were helping the administration and asking people to stay away from criminal activities.
Another Rohingya man, Hafez Khurshid, said that people aged between 12 and 20 have no work to do and no education, which contributes to the deterioration of the law-and-order situation in the camps.
Bachelet also visited the UN-sponsored facilities and held a meeting with the Bangladeshi officials later in the day.
In the first-ever visit by a UN rights chief to Bangladesh, Bachelet arrived in Dhaka in the morning of Sunday and held meetings with government ministers and activists, among others.
Bachelet will meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina today before wrapping up her visit with a press conference.
The family members of the victims of enforced disappearance are scheduled to hold a human chain near the Hotel Intercontinental today.