Burma: Rohingya:Written question - HL11390

Asked on: 12 November 2018
Department for International Development
Burma: Rohingya
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are concerned by the non-voluntary terms of the repatriation agreement for the Rohingya refugees between Bangladesh and Myanmar and the plans to implement the agreement on 15 November; whether they consider Rakhine state now to be safe for the Rohingya; and what assurances they have sought from both countries to ensure that the Rohingya will be able to return to their homes voluntarily.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 26 November 2018

We are deeply concerned that Bangladesh and Burma have announced that they plan to begin repatriation of the Rohingya to Burma on November 15. We have stated publicly that we agree with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) that the conditions for safe and dignified returns do not yet exist. The access required for necessary independent monitoring by UN agencies is also not in place.

Minister Field has raised our concerns with the Bangladesh Foreign Minister and Burmese Minister for International Cooperation Kyaw Tin on 1 November. He stressed the UK's assessment that conditions in Rakhine State were not currently conducive to refugee returns. We will continue to make representations to the governments of both Bangladesh and Burma not to commence returns while conditions in northern Rakhine remain as they are.

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