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Bangladesh: Internally Displaced Persons

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether he has had discussions with the Government of Bangladesh on recent reports of arrests and forced displacements of Rohingya refugees; if he will request that the Government of Bangladesh recognises as refugees those of Rohingya origin who do not have documents; and if he will make a statement; (322602)

(2) what recent reports he has received on action against Rohingya refugees by Bangladesh law enforcement authorities; and if he will make a statement.

We are concerned by the recent reports by Medecins Sans Frontieres and Physicians for Human Rights on the situation facing displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh. We have raised the plight of the Rohingyas and their status with the Government of Bangladesh, both bilaterally and in concert with EU partners.

Officials from our High Commission in Dhaka, including the High Commissioner, have visited the camps for displaced Rohingyas, which are run by UN agencies. We are also supporting the European Commission and UN programmes for Rohingyas through the UK's core funding to the EU and the UN. In 2009, the UK Government also funded a British Council project to train English teachers within the camps.