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Bangladesh: Registration starts in camps

Briefing notes

Bangladesh: Registration starts in camps

25 November 2005

On Tuesday this week we started a two-month long registration campaign of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in the two government-run refugee camps in Cox's Bazar District in south-eastern Bangladesh.

There are an estimated 20,500 Rohingya refugees in the camps, and the registration now underway will gather information to ensure that we have accurate information about the number of refugees and their profile - such as age, gender etc. The last registration was carried out in 2002.

In the early 1990s, more than 250,000 people belonging to the mostly Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority, escaped persecution in Myanmar by fleeing across land and river borders into Bangladesh where they were housed in 20 camps.

Since then 236,000 have repatriated. However, the rate of repatriation has slowed considerably over the last two years with only 92 refugees returning this year, and 210 repatriating in 2004.

In early November, a small group of ambassadors from the European Union visited the camps and called the living conditions appalling, echoing UNHCR's deep concerns over camp conditions and protection of refugees.