Situation

 

Bangladesh is not a party to the 1951 Convention and it does not have domestic refugee legislation that regulates the reception and protection of refugees. The GoB provided asylum to over 741,000 refugees since 25 August 2017. The total number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh was estimated to be 875,747 persons as of 15 April 2018. Around 200 asylum seekers and refugees from diverse countries also reside in Dhaka. In Bangladesh, refugees and People of Concern to the United Nations do not have the right to work nor do they have access to markets. Refugees are however able to do some agricultural activities and set up businesses with in the refugee camps. Additionally, refugees lack the freedom of movement outside of the designated refugee camps. On 13 April 2018, the Government of Bangladesh and UNHCR signed a complementary MoU on voluntary repatriation, which reinforces this commitment to international standards and establishes a framework for enhanced operational engagement when the conditions for return are ripe , highlighting the temporary contextual situation for PoCs in the country.


In Bangladesh, the host community has an unemployment rate of 4.3% (World Bank). The main employment industries are agriculture with 41% of the workforce, followed by services at 38% and industry at 21% (World Bank). Having graduated to lower-middle-income country status in 2015, over recent years Bangladesh has experienced sustained economic growth and achieved significant development gains, especially on universal primary education, gender parity in basic education and child and maternal mortality. Poverty and extreme poverty have been declining sharply, sitting in 2010 at 31.5 and 17.6% respectively, with further reductions until today . Cox’s Bazar which is one of Bangladesh’s poorest districts, even before the influx, one in five households already had poor and borderline food consumption patterns – which was much higher than the national average. On average, 33% live below the poverty line and 17% below the extreme poverty line (JRP for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, 2018).


However, despite progress and the improved availability of food due to increased production, 40 million people – one quarter of the population – remain food insecure, and 11 million suffer from acute hunger (WFP).

Country Response


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