Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya child refugees in Bangladesh have been prevented from accessing meaningful education, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday, December 3rd, Reuters has reported.
In a report called 'Are we not human?', Human Rights Watch accused Bangladesh of violating the rights of 400,000 school-age children who have fled Myanmar and are living now in the Cox's Bazaar refugee camps. It has also urged authorities to remove restrictions on schooling in refugee camps.
"Depriving an entire generation of children of education is in no one’s interest," Bill Van Esveld, associate children’s rights director at HRW told Reuters, urging the international community to act and demand that Bangladesh and Myanmar change course.
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh since a crackdown by Myanmar's military in 2017.
Bangladesh had banned Rohingya refugees from enrolling in schools outside the camps or taking national exams. Authorities also barred UN agencies and foreign aid groups from giving formal accredited education, the HRW report said.
For his part, Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission Chief Mahbub Alam Talukder said it was untrue that children in the camps were not being educated and that there were 4,000 learning centres in the camps.
He called on the Rohingya refugees to go back to Myanmar, adding "They are not our citizens and we can’t allow them to use our national curriculum."