United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will celebrate the World Refugee Day 2018 in Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar on June 20 to raise global awareness for global responsibility for refugees.
UNHCR Chief Filippo Grandi is expected to visit Bangladesh to attend the celebrations of the day and as well as to see the Rohingya situation and discuss the issue with the government and other stakeholders.
This will be Grandi's third visit to Bangladesh in less than a year since he visited the Refugee camps on July 8-10 and on Sept 23-26 in 2017. Grandi is the 11th High Commissioner for Refugees who was elected by the UN General Assembly on January 1 last year to serve a five-year term until December 31, 2020.
His visit reflects the importance of the world's largest refugee crisis in the country and Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals for years.
Of this figure, more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since Aug 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants in the Rakhine state triggered a Myanmar military crackdown that the United Nations has branded “a text book example of ethnic cleansing.”
Diplomatic sources say Filippo Grandi's visit will draw the global attention to the plight of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, who have been forced to flee their homes to escape persecution, killings and sexual violence in Rakhine State.
Grandi, who in July called for Myanmar to grant Rohingyas citizenship of the country, also asked a Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh what it would take for him to return. The refugee said Myanmar needed to restore citizenship and fundamental rights of the Rohingyas.
During his visit in September, Grandi said the solution to the Rohingya crisis is granting them Myanmar citizenship and put emphasis on implementation of the citizenship verification process “efficiently and rapidly” which will help unblock all remaining barriers to a solution.
Late last month, the United Nations said that the lives of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees hang in the balance as they face 'life threatening' hazards due to the monsoon and cyclone seasons which threaten to destroy their makeshift camps in Bangladesh.
The United Nations migration agency - the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - appealed in a statement, released on April 27, for urgent financial aid to prepare life-saving measures against floods and landslides in the makeshift camps in Cox's Bazar.
According to the UN, the joint response plan for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, launched in mid‑March, is only nine percent funded. It requires $951 million until December 2018 to help respond to the needs of some 1.3 million people, including both Rohingya refugees and vulnerable members of the host community.
World Refugee Day is an annual event held on June 20 each year - 2018 is the 18th year of the event - run by the United Nations Refugee Agency to state that the world supports and stands with refugees.
World Refugee Day also honours the strength and courage of refugees and encourages public awareness and support of the refugees, people who have had to flee their home lands because of conflict or natural disaster.
On December 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001 onwards June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day. In this resolution the General Assembly noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.