Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Neglected Rohingya Refugee Children in Malaysia

By Mohammad Sadek

The Rohingya refugee children in Malaysia have gone in outrages and are facing inhuman challenges without child care and basic rights that accorded in various treaties in glorious history of the world.

Rohingya as a forgotten refugee groups in Southeast Asia , they do not have chance to send their children to gain any kind of knowledge for failure to meet in legal frameworks.

Out of ten of thousands of Rohingya refugees, only 18,800 were registered by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia . They are being marginalized and unspecific numbers of them are also passing life in sub-human condition with vulnerabilities. No justice is available for them. They are considered as illegal immigrant in this region. Their advocacy also remains unmoved.

Therefore, Rohingya Refugee rights activists in Malaysia have gone into possible studies and found that at least over 8,000 school age children underway to exploitation in the country as they are completely deprived of their basic rights to education and other needs, after being of persons of concern to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

At the same time, numbers of children become street children, who find means of survival by begging from the street. No quarter is taking step to assist them or to alleviate poverty and eradicate illiteracy rate among the Rohingya refugee children.

Fact that the issue of Rohingya refugees in South East Asia is getting less focused on real appearance which may bring adequate advocacy to the Muslim Malaysian Government to look after the causes of these neglected refugees like Cambodian, Pilipino and Acehnese Muslim refugees in previous years. But the government is not in position to do the same for the Rohingya because the ruling Burmese Government does not recognized them as its fellow citizen.

It is also true that in late 2009, the Government of Malaysia announced that the Rohingya refugee children would be allowed to access in public schools after 30 years of their history in Malaysia but commitment remain in papers and in the air, while local education authority rejected the news and responded Rohingya refugee parents like pre-announcement period, mentioning that refugees are illegal and thus children cannot access in public schools.

Besides, some concerned quarters often try to get information about children with unknown motives in order to develop their progressive reports, which give live evidence from their non-cooperative hands and undocumented communications.

It is sure that the Rohingya refugees are not being treated as other non-Rohingya Burmese refugee children for whom volunteers from different countries through the proper channels are being engaged to develop education together with persuading for advocacy and distributing financial aids and educational materials. No quarters have paid attetntion to supports to Rohingya Buremse refugees’ informal education centers, except implicating destructive name of underground schools. So, Rohingya refugee teachers or educators are being scared to involve in education in order to avoid from such accusation of underground activism as they are really working for the establishment of peace, justice and equality on principle of universal declaration of human rights and other international human rights treaties.

This contribution is a gift to advocate the causes of the Rohingya Burmese refugee children in Malaysia, appealing to the international community to take urgent step to abolish ill-motivated campaign against the unfortunate refugee children in Malaysia in order to let them chance to gain education and knowledge, while alleviating poverty among the Rohingya refugee community, eradicating illiteracy rate as well through out the effective humanitarian aids and charitable works.

Appeal also may be made to the UN Refugee Agency to urgently speed of resettlement process for the Rohingya refugees, particularly the active educationists Rohingya in order to ensure the hopes of their children, while getting cooperation from the UN Children Agency to bring assistances in balance for these worst neglected Rohingya refugee children in Malaysia .

Mohammad Sadek
Program Coordinator
Arakan Rohingya Refugee Committee (ARRC)

No comments:

Post a Comment