NON REFOULEMENT OF ROHINGYA REFUGEES

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Rohingiya community belong to Arakan state of Myanmar. According to UN Rohingiyas are the most persecuted community in the world. Myanmar government doesn’t consider these people as citizens of the country. Myanmar government has been accused of persecuting and ethnic cleansing of Rohingiya Muslims. Myanmar army and extremist Buddhist have been accused of mass genocide, rape and torture of innocent Rohingiyas civilians.

The severe crackdown on these community began in 2012 and since then these people have been migrating to different parts of the world in search of safe haven. They have migrated to Neighboring Bangladesh, Malaysia, Saudi and also India. In India they are spread uneven in different states of the country comprising about 36,000 in population. Like in Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and in Delhi. Around 9000 people live in different parts of DELHI {NHCR}. The condition of these people in these refugee camp is deplorable. These people are still subjugated to striking discrimination. The government’s attitude towards them has been very hostile let alone helping them in improving their conditions.

These people work as unskilled labors like as manual labors, or manual scavengers, rag pickers, they are very vulnerable and are exploited by contractors who hire them for work. They are not even able to register FIR as they do not have proper identification given to them. These people are literally treated as castaways in a country like India and still they do not want to go back to their homeland such is the extent of terror and violence they faced there. In Jammu camps these people face protests by right wing groups who accuse them being terrorists and want them to be deported back.

The rohingiyas face health issues. This is because of several reasons most importantly lack of clean water and sufficient food. They work as manual labors but either are under paid or not paid at all with threats hence they are not able to afford food and most of them are malnutrition.

Sanitation is one of the main issues facing these rohingiyas. The people do not have proper sanitation mechanisms and hence are these health issues. There is no garbage disposal system and they throw their waste in open field around the camp. This creates unhygienic surroundings and hence leads to diseases. https://scroll.in/article/860545/starvation-and-malnutrition-stalk-rohingya-children-in-bangladesh-refugee-camps

The rohingiyas are uneducated they do not know the local language neither do they know English hence they are discriminated easily.  The rohingiyas in their homeland have been considered as illegal immigrants and hence are stripped of any benefits from the governments. That’s the reason why such huge population has remained uneducated. In Delhi they have enrolled their children in various schools of organizations run by Delhi government. They cannot afford the fee so Zakat foundation is helping them. The zakat foundation enrolls them on their behalf because they do not have any identity proof. The rohingiya’s children in schools have shown immense potential through their hard work and dedication and are winning prizes in academics and games. The parents of these children have apprehensions of them continuing to study as it would cost them more and more in future. The rohingyas face persecution and have been employed as bonded laborers.  {https://scroll.in/article/863949/in-haryanas-mewat-rohingyas-rescued-from-bonded-labour-look-for-a-place-to-call-home

The Indian government hasn’t signed the UN refuge policy of 1951 .The state policy of India states that no one can claim for medical assistance or basic needs without having UNHRC refugee card as they are not Indian citizen. This is why India is trying to look the other way when these people are facing so many problems. Our media and the government has taken on itself to demonize and hate monger these people who have fled a genocide by labeling them as “national threat”. The government of India is planning to deport 40,000 rohigya Muslims. India has had a history of sheltering the prosecuted providing them with safe haven and integrating them in the society, why not now?

Many legal advocates, jurists and activists have been against government’s decision to deport back rohnigya Muslims. Advocates like Prashant bushan has challenged government’s decision to deport rohingya refugees from India. Article 21 of the Indian constitution grants right to life to anyone residing under the boundary of India. And by deporting back rohingyas to Rakhine state Indian government will be sending them to inevitable persecution and death. The question of legal or illegal immigrant is secondary. The Indian government is also bound to help out these refugees in giving them basic necessities also along with right to life, like food and shelter.

In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, the Supreme Court gave a new dimension to Art. 21 and held that the right to live the right to live is not merely a physical right but includes within its ambit the right to live with human dignity. Elaborating the same view, the Court in Francis Coralie v. Union Territory of Delhi, observed that:

“The right to live includes the right to live with human dignity and all that goes along with it, viz., the bare necessities of life such as adequate nutrition, clothing and shelter over the head and facilities for reading writing and expressing oneself in diverse forms, freely moving about and mixing and mingling with fellow human beings and must include the right to basic necessities the basic necessities of life and also the right to carry on functions and activities as constitute the bare minimum expression of human self.”

Senior jurist Fail Nariman contended in the Supreme Court that the decision taken by the Indian government to deport rohingya Muslims is absurd. He mentioned some very important points which raise some serious questions on the decision of Indian government. Fail said that painting all rohingyas as terrorist is absurd. Nariman said the 2011 notification stated that refugees fleeing persecution are different from illegal immigrants and should be given long-term visas, employment opportunities and the right to study in educational institutions. Nariman, appearing for the main petitioner Mohammad Salimullah, also read out the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, dated October 3, 2016, which India has signed. He said that though India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, it has signed several other international conventions which prohibit involuntary deportation of refugees. {https://scroll.in/latest/852873/india-cannot-deport-rohingya-as-it-has-signed-international-conventions-fali-nariman-tells-sc

Director refugee rights program bill frelick has some very important points on India’s decision to deport rohingyas. Bill mentions that Indian government cannot present the excuse of not signing in the refugee convention of 1951 because by the same logic India had not signed the Convention against Torture would Indian authorities have carte blanche to torture and ill-treat anyone in custody? No, this means these are just lame excuses by government of india done for pity political gains.



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