Angelina Jolie urges end to injustices that have driven nearly one million Rohingya into exile in Bangladesh
Editing Office - Geneva
UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie heard testimonies this week from Rohingya refugees who have endured years of persecution and discrimination in Myanmar and survived a desperate flight across the border. Speaking in Kutupalong refugee camp on Tuesday, Jolie said, “I am thankful that here in Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees have their existence recognized, and are being provided by the Government and UNHCR with documentation and proof of their identity – in some instances for the very first time in their lives.” The visit marked Jolie’s 64th mission with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, since 2001, and her first mission to Bangladesh. She met with displaced Rohingya people in Myanmar in 2015 and in India in 2006. Decades of injustice have driven nearly 1 million Rohingya to flee their homes in Myanmar and seek refuge in Bangladesh – the majority of them in the last 18 months.
On Tuesday at a transit centre close to the border, Jolie met with Jorina, a young woman who had arrived with friends, one of them heavily pregnant, a few weeks earlier. Just 18 years old, Jorina spoke of a staggering series of misfortunes. As a Rohingya, she was born stateless. Two subsequent tragedies – the death of her mother many years ago, and the killing of her father in December – made her an orphan. Now she is a refugee, too. “I lost my parents. What else could I do?” she said. “I couldn’t sleep any single night safely… Finally, I decided to flee.” Jorina also had some good news to share. Less than 24 hours earlier she found her older sister, who had come to Bangladesh several months ago. What’s more, she helped her friend Nurkayda give birth to a healthy girl at a nearby hospital.
“We never would get access to this kind of services and care in Myanmar,” Jorina said. “What we suffered, we cannot allow our children to go through the same situation.”
Read More: https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/latest/2019/2/5c5c0be54/angelina-jolie-urges-end-injustices-driven-nearly-million-rohingya-exile.html