Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has called on the UK Government to step up its support for Rohingya women in living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Research from Oxfam published today shows that, a year on from the forcible removal of the Rohingya people from their homes by the Myanmar military, women living in refugee camps in Bangladesh are still living without basic services.
More than a third of Rohingya refugee women surveyed said they did not feel safe or comfortable going to collect water or using toilets and shower cubicles. Three quarters of adolescent girls said they didn’t have what they needed to manage their periods, including a female-only place to wash sanitary cloths without embarrassment.
Jeff is backing Oxfam’s call for the UK Government to ring-fence 15% of funding to Myanmar for projects specifically focusing on protecting Rohingya women living in refugee camps. Oxfam are also urging the UK Government to step up diplomatic efforts to urge the Myanmar Government to address the discriminatory policies at the root of the crisis.
Last year, Jeff was part of a delegation visiting Bangladesh where they discussed the Rohingya crisis with State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Md Shahriar Alam.
“As we mark a year since the beginning of the 21st century’s worst refugee crisis, it’s unacceptable that women refugees still don’t have access to the most basic services.
The Government and people of Bangladesh deserve great credit for their help and support to those fleeing persecution, but their commitment must be matched by the international community.
The UK should step up its support to Rohingya women, and redouble its diplomacy to bring about genuine reforms in Myanmar which allow the refugees to return home.”