Un violent incendie dévaste des camps de réfugiés rohingyas à Cox’s Bazar | Organisation internationale pour les migrations
Cox’s Bazar - Un énorme incendie a ravagé hier trois sites gérés par l’OIM, déplaçant environ 45 000 réfugiés rohingyas et causant des dégâts catastrophiques à Cox’s Bazar, au Bangladesh, le plus grand camp de réfugiés au monde.Plus de 10 000 abris ont été endommagés dans l’incendie et le plus grand centre de santé de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) dans le camp a été détruit. La perte du centre de santé ouvert 24 heures sur 24 et 7 jours sur 7, qui a desservi plus de 55 000 personnes l’année dernière, complique encore le défi que représente la réponse à la COVID-19. Les flammes qui faisaient rage dans les camps n’ont diminué qu’une fois avoir atteint les routes principales, les pentes, les canaux et les rizières. L’incendie s’est calmé depuis, mais a eu le temps de consumer les installations essentielles, les abris et les biens personnels de dizaines de milliers de personnes.
La cause de l’incendie est encore inconnue. Selon les agences humanitaires et les autorités locales, 11 personnes ont perdu la vie, plus de 500 personnes ont été blessées et environ 400 sont toujours portées disparues.
(...) Immédiatement après l’incendie, les services d’intervention du gouvernement, notamment les pompiers, l’armée et les agences humanitaires se sont précipités dans la zone pour maîtriser l’incendie. L’OIM a déployé ses ambulances et ses équipes médicales mobiles pour aider tous ceux qui ont été blessés et pour fournir un soutien en matière de santé mentale et psychosociale.Les volontaires rohingyas sur le terrain ont été les premiers intervenants, aidant les gens à se mettre en sécurité, soutenant les efforts de lutte contre l’incendie et les efforts de secours. Les équipes de l’OIM et ses partenaires ont travaillé toute la nuit pour répondre aux besoins les plus immédiats de ceux qui ont fui le brasier.Aujourd’hui, les familles ont commencé à retourner sur leurs parcelles de terre. L’OIM distribue de l’aide d’urgence à toutes les personnes touchées. Elle comprend des kits pour la construction d’abris et de l’eau ainsi que des articles d’urgence tels que des masques, du savon, des couvertures, des lampes solaires, des moustiquaires et des jerrycans. A l’approche de la mousson, la reconstruction est essentielle. L’OIM continuera à aider les résidents à reconstruire des abris durables, des installations d’eau, d’assainissement et d’hygiène (WASH) ainsi que son centre de santé, un établissement qui a été crucial pour répondre à la COVID-19 au cours de l’année écoulée.
The Barceló Group is a leading Spanish travel and hotel company whose airline Evelop is an eager deportation profiteer. Evelop is currently the Spanish government’s main charter deportation partner, running all the country’s mass expulsion flights through a two-year contract, while carrying out deportations from several other European countries as well.
This profile has been written in response to requests from anti-deportation campaigners. We look at how:
- The Barceló Group’s airline Evelop has a €9.9m, 18-month deportation contract with the Spanish government. The contract is up for renewal and Barceló is bidding again.
- Primary beneficiaries of the contract alternate every few years between Evelop and Globalia’s Air Europa.
– Evelop also carried out deportations from the UK last year to Jamaica, Ghana and Nigeria.
– The Barceló Group is run and owned by the Barceló family. It is currently co-chaired by the Barceló cousins, Simón Barceló Tous and Simón Pedro Barceló Vadell. Former senator Simón Pedro Barceló Vadell, of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) party, takes the more public-facing role.
– The company is Spain’s second biggest hotel company, although the coronavirus pandemic appears to have significantly impacted this aspect of its work.
What’s the business?
The Barceló Group (‘#Barceló_Corporación_Empresarial, S.A.’) is made up of the #Barceló_Hotel_Group, Spain’s second largest hotel company, and a travel agency and tour operator division known as #Ávoris. Ávoris runs two airlines: the Portuguese brand #Orbest, which anti-deportation campaigners report have also carried out charter deportations, and the Spanish company, #Evelop, founded in 2013.
The Barceló Group is based in Palma, #Mallorca. It was founded by the Mallorca-based Barceló family in 1931 as #Autocares_Barceló, which specialised in the transportation of people and goods, and has been managed by the family for three generations. The Barceló Group has a stock of over 250 hotels in 22 countries and claims to employ over 33,000 people globally, though we don’t know if this figure has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused massive job losses in the tourism industry.
The Hotel division has four brands: #Royal_Hideaway_Luxury_Hotels & Resorts; #Barceló_Hotels & Resorts; #Occidental_Hotels & Resorts; and #Allegro_Hotels. The company owns, manages and rents hotels worldwide, mostly in Spain, Mexico and the US. It works in the United States through its subsidiary, Crestline Hotels & Resorts, which manages third-party hotels, including for big brands like Marriott and Hilton.
Ávoris, the travel division, runs twelve tour brands, all platforms promoting package holidays.
Their airlines are small, primarily focused on taking people to sun and sand-filled holidays. In total the Barceló Group airlines have a fleet of just nine aircraft, with one on order, according to the Planespotters website. However, three of these have been acquired in the past two years and a fourth is due to be delivered. Half are leased from Irish airplane lessor Avolon. Evelop serves only a few routes, mainly between the Caribbean and the Iberian peninsula, as well as the UK.
Major changes are afoot as Ávoris is due to merge with #Halcón_Viajes_and_Travelplan, both subsidiaries of fellow Mallorcan travel giant #Globalia. The combined entity will become the largest group of travel agencies in Spain, employing around 6,000 people. The Barceló Group is due to have the majority stake in the new business.
Barceló has also recently announced the merger of Evelop with its other airline Orbest, leading to a new airline called Iberojet (the name of a travel agency already operated by Ávoris).
The new airline is starting to sell scheduled flights in addition to charter operations. Evelop had already announced a reduction in its charter service, at a time when its scheduled airline competitors, such as #Air_Europa, have had to be bailed out to avoid pandemic-induced bankruptcy. Its first scheduled flights will be mainly to destinations in Central and South America, notably Cuba and the Domican Republic, though they are also offering flights to Tunisia, the Maldives and Mauritius.
Evelop currently holds the contract to carry out the Spanish government’s mass deportation flights, through an agreement made with the Spanish Interior Ministry in December 2019. Another company, Air Nostrum, which operates the Iberia Regional franchise, transports detainees within Spain, notably to Madrid, from where they are deported by Evelop. The total value of the contract for the two airlines is €9.9m, and lasts 18 months.
This is the latest in a long series of such contracts. Over the years, the beneficiaries have alternated between the Evelop- #Air_Nostrum partnership, and another partnership comprising Globalia’s #Air_Europa, and #Swiftair (with the former taking the equivalent role to that of Evelop). So far, the Evelop partnership has been awarded the job twice, while its Air Europa rival has won the bidding three times.
However, the current deal will end in spring 2021, and a new tender for a contract of the same value has been launched. The two bidders are: Evelop-Air Nostrum; and Air Europa in partnership with #Aeronova, another Globalia subsidiary. A third operator, #Canary_Fly, has been excluded from the bidding for failing to produce all the required documentation. So yet again, the contract will be awarded to companies either owned by the Barceló Group or Globalia.
On 10 November 2020, Evelop carried out the first charter deportations from Spain since the restrictions on travel brought about by the cCOVID-19 pandemic. On board were 22 migrants, mostly Senegalese, who had travelled by boat to the Canary Islands. Evelop and the Spanish government dumped them in Mauritania, under an agreement with the country to accept any migrants arriving on the shores of the Islands. According to El País newspaper, the number of actual Mauritanians deported to that country is a significant minority of all deportees. Anti-deportation campaigners state that since the easing up of travel restrictions, Evelop has also deported people to Georgia, Albania, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
Evelop is not only eager to cash in on deportations in Spain. Here in the UK, Evelop carried out at least two charter deportations last year: one to Ghana and Nigeria from Stansted on 30 January 2020; and one to Jamaica from Doncaster airport on 11 February in the same year. These deportations took place during a period of mobile network outages across Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres, which interfered with detainees’ ability to access legal advice to challenge their expulsion, or speak to loved ones.
According to campaigners, the company reportedly operates most of Austria and Germany’s deportations to Nigeria and Ghana, including a recent joint flight on 19 January. It also has operated deportations from Germany to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Evelop is not the only company profiting from Spain’s deportation machine. The Spanish government also regularly deports people on commercial flights operated by airlines such as Air Maroc, Air Senegal, and Iberia, as well as mass deportations by ferry to Morocco and Algeria through the companies #Transmediterránea, #Baleària and #Algérie_Ferries. #Ferry deportations are currently on hold due to the pandemic, but Air Maroc reportedly still carry out regular deportations on commercial flights to Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara.
Where’s the money?
The financial outlook for the Barceló Group as a whole at the end of 2019 seemed strong, having made a net profit of €135 million.
Before the pandemic, the company president said that he had planned to prioritise its hotels division over its tour operator segment, which includes its airlines. Fast forward a couple of years and its hotels are struggling to attract custom, while one of its airlines has secured a multimillion-euro deportation contract.
Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the Barceló Group’s operations. The company had to close nearly all of its hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa during the first wave of the pandemic, with revenue down 99%. In the Caribbean, the hotel group saw a 95% drop in revenue in May, April and June. They fared slightly better in the US, which saw far fewer COVID-19 restrictions, yet revenue there still declined 89%. By early October, between 20-60% of their hotels in Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean had reopened across the regions, but with occupancy at only 20-60%.
The company has been negotiating payments with hotels and aircraft lessors in light of reduced demand. It claims that it has not however had to cut jobs, since the Spanish government’s COVID-19 temporary redundancy plans enable some workers to be furloughed and prevent employers from firing them in that time.
Despite these difficulties, the company may be saved, like other tourism multinationals, by a big bailout from the state. Barceló’s Ávoris division is set to share a €320 million bailout from the Spanish government as part of the merger with Globalia’s subsidiaries. Is not known if the Barceló Group’s hotel lines will benefit from state funds.
The eight members of the executive board are unsurprisingly, male, pale and frail; as are all ten members of the Ávoris management team.
The company is co-chaired by cousins with confusingly similar names: #Simón_Barceló_Tous and #Simón_Pedro_Barceló_Vadell. We’ll call them #Barceló_Tous and #Pedro_Barceló from here. The family are from Felanitx, Mallorca.
Barceló Tous is the much more low-key of the two, and there is little public information about him. Largely based in the Dominican Republic, he takes care of the Central & Latin American segment of the business.
His cousin, Pedro Barceló, runs the European and North American division. Son of Group co-founder #Gabriel_Barceló_Oliver, Pedro Barceló is a law graduate who has been described as ‘reserved’ and ‘elusive’. He is the company’s executive president. Yet despite his apparent shyness, he was once the youngest senator in Spanish history, entering the upper house at age 23 as a representative for the conservative party with links to the Francoist past, #Partido_Popular. For a period he was also a member of the board of directors of Globalia, Aena and #First_Choice_Holidays.
The CEO of Evelop is #Antonio_Mota_Sandoval, formerly the company’s technical and maintenance director. He’s very found of #drones and is CEO and founder of a company called #Aerosolutions. The latter describes itself as ‘Engineering, Consulting and Training Services for conventional and unmanned aviation.’ Mota appears to live in Alcalá de Henares, a town just outside Madrid. He is on Twitter and Facebook.
The Barceló Foundation
As is so often the case with large businesses engaging in unethical practises, the family set up a charitable arm, the #Barceló_Foundation. It manages a pot of €32 million, of which it spent €2m in 2019 on a broad range of charitable activities in Africa, South America and Mallorca. Headed by Antonio Monjo Tomás, it’s run from a prestigious building in Palma known as #Casa_del_Marqués_de_Reguer-Rullán, owned by the Barceló family. The foundation also runs the #Felanitx_Art & Culture Center, reportedly based at the Barceló’s family home. The foundation partners with many Catholic missions and sponsors the #Capella_Mallorquina, a local choir. The foundation is on Twitter and Facebook.
The Barceló Group’s vulnerabilities
Like other tourism businesses, the group is struggling with the industry-wide downturn due to COVID-19 travel measures. In this context, government contracts provide a rare reliable source of steady income — and the Barcelós will be loathe to give up deportation work. In Spain, perhaps even more than elsewhere, the tourism industry and its leading dynasties has very close ties with government and politicians. Airlines are getting heavy bailouts from the Spanish state, and their bosses will want to keep up good relations.
But the deportation business could become less attractive for the group if campaigners keep up the pressure — particularly outside Spain, where reputational damage may outweigh the profits from occasional flights. Having carried out a charter deportation to Jamaica from the UK earlier in the year, the company became a target of a social media campaign in December 2020 ahead of the Jamaica 50 flight, after which they reportedly said that they were not involved. A lesser-known Spanish airline, Privilege Style, did the job instead.
#Espagne #business #compagnies_aériennes #complexe_militaro-industriel #renvois #expulsions #migrations #réfugiés #asile #tourisme #charter #Maurtianie #îles_Canaries #Canaries #Géorgie #Albanie #Colombie #République_dominicaine #Ghana #Nigeria #Allemagne #Standsted #UK #Angleterre #Pakistan #Bangladesh #Air_Maroc #Air_Senegal #Iberia #Maroc #Algérie #ferrys #Sahara_occidental #covid-19 #pandémie #coronavirus #hôtels #fondation #philanthropocapitalisme ##philanthropo-capitalisme
#Dacca (Bangladesh) : plus de 200 logements démolis dans le quartier Mirpur
Dans la matinée du jeudi 21 janvier 2021, à Dacca, capitale du #Bangladesh, une opération d’expulsion et de démolition de logements dans le quartier de Mirpur (bloc C de la section 11) s’est trouvée confrontée à une intense résistance des habitant·e·s. La police et les employés de la DNCC (Dhaka North City Corporation) ont reçu […]
A Bangladeshi migrant becomes the first ’environmentally displaced’ person in France
Last month, the appeals court for the Administrative Court of Bordeaux granted the status of “sick foreigner” to a Bangladeshi suffering from a respiratory disease, taking into account the air pollution in his country of origin. The decision was a first in France.
Living in France for almost a decade, Sheel*, a Bangladeshi suffering from a respiratory disease, obtained his first “residence permit for sick foreigners” in 2015. The Toulouse-based 40-something suffers from a form of severe asthma that needs extensive treatment as well as severe sleep apnea, requiring him to sleep with breathing assistance every night.
Despite his fragile state of health, in June 2019 his residence permit was denied renewal and he risked deportation, as the prefecture deemed that he could obtain appropriate treatment in Bangladesh. His request for family reunification with his wife, who remained in the country, was also rejected.
A year later, the administrative court overturned the prefect’s order, arguing that while medicines to relieve asthma attacks are available for sale in Bangladesh, there is no substantive treatment. But the prefect did not stop there and took the case to the Bordeaux Court of Appeal, which on December 18, 2008, confirmed the first judgment and even added a relevant factor that was unheard of in France: that of air pollution in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh among the most polluted countries in the world
“This is the first time in France that a court has taken into account environmental criterion to justify a person benefitting from the status of a sick foreigner,” Ludovic Rivière, Sheel’s lawyer, told InfoMigrants. “Because it is obvious that the environmental conditions in Bangladesh today make it possible to affirm that it would be illusory for my client to be treated there, it would amount to sending him to certain death.”
Indeed, in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, the level of fine particles in the air is six times higher than that allowed by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the WHO’s 2016 figures, some 572,600 deaths in Bangladesh are attributable to non-communicable diseases, 82% of which are due to exposure to indoor air pollution.
Bangladesh also ranks 178th in the Environmental Performance Index, established by researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities to assess global air “quality,” ranking it among the most polluted countries in the world.
In addition to the dangers of air pollution, the French court also recognized that the daily power cuts and high temperatures in Bangladesh did not allow the use of the night ventilation device that Sheel needs.
Case law for ’climate refugee’ status?
“Just as an AIDS patient cannot be sent back to a country where he cannot be treated or a death row inmate to a state that practices capital punishment, Sheel cannot be deported to Bangladesh. We are still a long way from making precedent and creating a real climate refugee status in France,” said Rivière, who now hopes that the government and the courts will consider the climate issue more systematically. “The candidates for climate exile are going to be more and more numerous, and politicians will have no choice but to address them quickly.”
François Gemenne, a teacher and specialist in environment-related migration, also sees a “step in the right direction” but doubts that the decision of the Bordeaux Court of Appeal will be replicated. “Among the applicants for protection, there are many victims of environmental degradation, this plays a real role in the causes of departure, but it is very rarely invoked with the authorities, simply because it is almost never admissible and the applicants are well aware of this,” the researcher told InfoMigrants.
According to Gemenne, while the Sheel case is unprecedented, environmental criteria are occasionally taken into account by the French justice system. “These are very sporadic decisions, every two or three years. There have already been several cases in which people could not be deported to their region of origin because it was too exposed to natural disasters. It should be possible to build a precedent from all these cases, except that the current political climate is not in favor of broadening the criteria for obtaining asylum,” he said.
However, Gemenme said an existing tool could make it possible to change the situation. The Nansen Agenda, ratified by 110 countries including France in 2015, has the potential to define clear protection criteria for climate refugees, but it is not binding. France, which until December 2020 was at the head of the rotating presidency of the Platform on Disaster Related Displacement, has not announced any concrete measures in this regard.
Sheel, for his part, said he was overwhelmed by his new status as a trailblazer in France. Relieved by the court’s decision, he wants simply to continue his life, as well as his work in the restaurant sector. His priority is restarting his family reunification file again in order to reunite with his wife, whom he has not seen for nine years.
The United Nations Environment Programme predicts 250 million climate refugees worldwide by 2050.
#France #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bangladesh #réfugiés_bangladais #réfugiés_climatiques #réfugiés_environnementaux #pollution #pollution_de_l'air #titre_de_séjour_pour_étranger_malade #maladie #titre_de_séjour #statut #maladie_respiratoire #asthma
L’OIM renforce sa réponse à la violence faite aux femmes à Cox’s Bazar dans le contexte de la COVID-19 | Organisation internationale pour les migrations
Cox’s Bazar - Avant la pandémie de COVID-19, le risque de violence à l’égard des femmes et des filles rohingyas et bangladaises était déjà alarmant à Cox’s Bazar, au Bangladesh. Depuis l’arrivée de la COVID-19, les données suggèrent une augmentation des taux de violences domestiques et conjugales, tant chez les Rohingyas que dans les communautés d’accueil.
En raison des restrictions de mobilité et des risques en matière de protection, les femmes et les jeunes filles ont du mal à accéder aux services de lutte contre la violence sexiste et de santé sexuelle et reproductive, qui peuvent leur sauver la vie. En outre, l’absence de possibilités socioéconomiques met à rude épreuve les personnes déjà à risque, comme les familles dirigées par une femme seule.Malgré ces défis, plusieurs outils innovants et partenariats stratégiques ont permis à l’OIM d’adapter ses programmes de lutte contre la violence faite aux femmes au contexte unique et en constante évolution de la pandémie. En s’appuyant sur le Cadre institutionnel de l’OIM pour la lutte contre la violence faite aux femmes dans les situations de crise (GBViC) — mis en place à Cox’s Bazar en 2019 - et sur le plan d’action qui l’accompagne, l’équipe de l’OIM chargée de la lutte contre la violence fondée sur le genre a pu assurer la continuité des services de gestion des cas individuels en face à face. L’OIM a également maintenu le fonctionnement de 10 espaces sécurisés pour les femmes et les filles dans neuf camps et dans l’abri d’urgence sécurisé pour les survivantes de violences sexistes, conformément aux directives sanitaires face à la COVID-19.
Le bien-être et la sécurité des travailleurs migrants au Liban se détériorent davantage depuis l’explosion de Beyrouth | Organisation internationale pour les migrations
Les communautés de travailleurs migrants étaient déjà aux prises avec les effets néfastes de l’aggravation de la crise économique et de la crise de la COVID-19 avant même que les explosions ne se produisent. À l’époque, l’OIM estimait que 24 500 travailleurs migrants avaient été directement touchés par l’explosion - ayant perdu leur emploi, leur maison ou leurs moyens de subsistance. Depuis, la situation s’est détériorée pour beaucoup d’entre eux.L’analyse d’une évaluation des besoins coordonnée par la Croix-Rouge libanaise avec le soutien de la DTM indique que les besoins post-explosion des familles de ressortissants étrangers - qui englobent les travailleurs migrants - divergent de ceux des ménages libanais.
Les ressortissants étrangers ont déclaré que leurs besoins principaux sont l’argent et la nourriture, indiquant leur besoin urgent de services de base. En comparaison, le besoin le plus important des ménages libanais est la réparation des abris.
Dans un autre sondage de la DTM ciblant uniquement les travailleurs migrants, 91 pour cent ont fait état de difficultés financières - beaucoup affirmant qu’ils ont besoin d’un soutien accru pour payer leur loyer et qu’ils ont du mal à trouver du travail dans un environnement économiquement de plus en plus précaire. Soixante-dix pour cent des personnes interrogées ont indiqué qu’elles souhaitaient retourner dans leur pays d’origine dans les trois prochains mois. « De plus en plus de travailleurs migrants se retrouvent à dormir dans la rue ou sont contraints de rester dans des lieux clos, souvent dans une seule et même pièce. Nous sommes très inquiets que la COVID-19 se répande parmi cette population », a déclaré Mme Godeau. Une évaluation de suivi - qui était centrée sur les migrants originaires du Bangladesh, d’Égypte, d’Éthiopie et du Soudan - a également révélé qu’un nombre croissant de migrants ne pouvaient pas accéder aux soins de santé, surtout par rapport aux Libanais qui sont également touchés.
Les Danois veulent loger les demandeurs d’asile déboutés sur une #île_déserte
Sans vouloir faire de Point Godwin, cette métaliste me fait penser aux différents projets envisagés pour relocaliser les #Juifs du monde, dont l’île de #Madagascar (avant bien sûr de finir par « choisir » la Palestine)...
L’OIM et l’équipe médicale d’urgence du Royaume-Uni poursuivent l’aide sanitaire contre la COVID-19 pour les réfugiés et les habitants à Cox’s Bazar | Organisation internationale pour les migrations
Cox’s Bazar - Depuis le début de la crise sanitaire de la COVID-19 au Bangladesh, les organismes humanitaires de Cox’s Bazar travaillent 24 heures sur 24 pour se préparer à faire face efficacement à l’épidémie dans le district, qui abrite l’un des plus grands camps de réfugiés au monde. La clé de cet énorme effort consiste à renforcer les partenariats existants et à rechercher de nouvelles opportunités de collaboration pour remédier au manque d’expertise technique et à la pression sur les ressources humaines dans une crise des réfugiés déjà complexe. En mai de cette année, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) et l’Equipe médicale d’urgence du Royaume-Uni (UK EMT) - financée par l’Office britannique du Commonwealth & du développement - ont relancé les efforts communs en matière de santé pour lutter contre la propagation de la COVID-19 dans le district. Cet effort vise à améliorer les mesures de prévention et de contrôle des infections tout en soutenant la gestion des cas et les systèmes d’orientation pour les communautés rohingyas et bangladaises voisines.
Grâce à ce partenariat, deux établissements de santé existants ont été modernisés, des centaines de travailleurs sanitaires ont été formés et trois centres d’isolement et de traitement des infections respiratoires aiguës sévères ont été conçus, construits et équipés pour fournir un traitement digne et efficace aux personnes infectées par la COVID-19. Des équipes de sensibilisation ont été mises en place pour encourager les comportements sains, renforcer la communication avec les communautés et promouvoir l’utilisation des établissements de santé (pour la COVID-19 et d’autres services de santé essentiels). « Les efforts conjoints de l’OIM et UK EMT profitent grandement à la réponse à la COVID-19, en particulier pour les plus vulnérables de Cox’s Bazar. Le soutien apporté par UK EMT en matière de renforcement des capacités, d’orientation technique et de supervision des équipes cliniques améliore la qualité des services fournis à la fois à la communauté d’accueil et aux populations réfugiées », a déclaré le Dr Charles Erik Halder, responsable national du programme de préparation et de réponse aux urgences de l’OIM à Cox’s Bazar.
Bangladesh: Hundreds of arbitrarily detained migrant workers must be released
The Bangladeshi authorities must immediately release at least 370 Bangladeshi migrant workers who were arbitrarily detained between July and September following their return to the country, said Amnesty International.
In the fourth of a series of mass arrests of migrant workers for alleged criminal activity abroad, 32 people were detained in Dhaka on Sunday 28 September for “tarnishing the image of the country”, due to their alleged imprisonment in Syria from where they had been deported. In this, as with three other cases, no credible evidence of criminal wrongdoing has been shown nor have any charges been brought.
These men and women are being arbitrarily detained in clear violation of Bangladesh’s human rights obligations
David Griffiths, Director of the Office of the Secretary General
The arbitrary detention of the workers violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Bangladesh is a state party.
“Not only have the Bangladeshi authorities failed to present any credible evidence of these workers’ supposed crimes, they have failed to specify any criminal charges. These men and women are being arbitrarily detained in clear violation of Bangladesh’s human rights obligations,” said David Griffiths, Director of the Office of the Secretary General.
“With many now held in detention for several months, there is no time for further delay. The Bangladeshi authorities must either bring charges for internationally recognised criminal offences or release them immediately.”
The 32 workers were initially jailed in Syria while trying to reach Italy and other European countries. They returned to Bangladesh on 13 September and were placed in quarantine for two weeks prior to their arrest, after the Syrian government commuted their jail terms.
Between July and September, Bangladeshi police have jailed at least 370 returning migrant workers under section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which allows for arrest on the basis of having “reasonable suspicion” that a person may have been involved in a criminal offence outside Bangladesh.
On 5 July 2020, 219 Bangladeshi workers who had returned from Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain since May were arrested and detained. According to the police application to a court in Dhaka, the returnees were in jails in those countries for committing “various offences”, which were not specified. The workers were deported to Bangladesh after their sentences were commuted. A police request to detain the 219 for as long as an investigation continued to determine their offence was granted by the court.
This was followed on 21 July by the arrest of another 36 migrant workers who had returned from Qatar and, on 1 September, by the arrest of 81 migrant workers who had returned to the country from Vietnam and 2 others from Qatar, after being exploited by traffickers.
“The Bangladeshi police have effectively been given court permission to keep these workers in detention for as long as they like. There is no telling how long an investigation into hundreds of cases involving multiple countries may take. To keep people imprisoned without charge for such an indeterminate length of time is completely unacceptable,” said David Griffiths.
Article 9 of the ICCPR safeguards the right to liberty and security of person and explicitly provides that “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”
#Bangladesh #retour #renvois #expulsions #détention #travailleurs_étrangers #migrants_bangladais
#Rohingya refugees allege sexual assault on Bangladeshi island | World news | The Guardian
Rohingya refugees allege they are being held against their will in jail-like conditions and subjected to rape and sexual assault on a Bangladeshi island in the Bay of the Bengal.
A group of more than 300 refugees were taken to the uninhabited, silt island of Bhasan Char in April, when a boat they were travelling on was intercepted by Bangladeshi authorities.
The refugees were attempting to sail from the sprawling camps of Cox’s Bazar on the Bangladeshi mainland to Malaysia. Like hundreds of thousands of others, they originally fled to Bangladesh from neighbouring Myanmar, where they faced violence and ethnic cleansing.
The #Rohingya. A humanitarian emergency decades in the making
The violent 2017 ouster of more than 700,000 Rohingya from Myanmar into Bangladesh captured the international spotlight, but the humanitarian crisis had been building for decades.
In August 2017, Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown that pushed out hundreds of thousands of members of the minority Rohingya community from their homes in northern Rakhine State. Today, roughly 900,000 Rohingya live across the border in southern Bangladesh, in cramped refugee camps where basic needs often overwhelm stretched resources.
The crisis has shifted from a short-term response to a protracted emergency. Conditions in the camps have worsened as humanitarian services are scaled back during the coronavirus pandemic. Government restrictions on refugees and aid groups have grown, along with grievances among local communities on the margins of a massive aid operation.
The 2017 exodus was the culmination of decades of restrictive policies in Myanmar, which have stripped Rohingya of their rights over generations, denied them an identity, and driven them from their homes.
Here’s an overview of the current crisis and a timeline of what led to it. A selection of our recent and archival reporting on the Rohingya crisis is available below.
Who are the Rohingya?
The Rohingya are a mostly Muslim minority in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Rohingya say they are native to the area, but in Myanmar they are largely viewed as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Myanmar’s government does not consider the Rohingya one of the country’s 135 officially recognised ethnic groups. Over decades, government policies have stripped Rohingya of citizenship and enforced an apartheid-like system where they are isolated and marginalised.
How did the current crisis unfold?
In October 2016, a group of Rohingya fighters calling itself the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA, staged attacks on border posts in northern Rakhine State, killing nine border officers and four soldiers. Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown, and 87,000 Rohingya civilians fled to Bangladesh over the next year.
A month earlier, Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, had set up an advisory commission chaired by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan to recommend a path forward in Rakhine and ease tensions between the Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine communities.
On 24 August 2017, the commission issued its final report, which included recommendations to improve development in the region and tackle questions of citizenship for the Rohingya. Within hours, ARSA fighters again attacked border security posts.
Myanmar’s military swept through the townships of northern Rakhine, razing villages and driving away civilians. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in the ensuing weeks. They brought with them stories of burnt villages, rape, and killings at the hands of Myanmar’s military and groups of ethnic Rakhine neighbours. The refugee settlements of southern Bangladesh now have a population of roughly 900,000 people, including previous generations of refugees.
What has the international community said?
Multiple UN officials, rights investigators, and aid groups working in the refugee camps say there is evidence of brutal levels of violence against the Rohingya and the scorched-earth clearance of their villages in northern Rakhine State.
A UN-mandated fact-finding mission on Myanmar says abuses and rights violations in Rakhine “undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under international law”; the rights probe is calling for Myanmar’s top generals to be investigated and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
The UN’s top rights official has called the military purge a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing”. Médecins Sans Frontières estimates at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the days after military operations began in August 2017.
Rights groups say there’s evidence that Myanmar security forces were preparing to strike weeks and months before the August 2017 attacks. The evidence included disarming Rohingya civilians, arming non-Rohingya, and increasing troop levels in the area.
What has Myanmar said?
Myanmar has denied almost all allegations of violence against the Rohingya. It says the August 2017 military crackdown was a direct response to the attacks by ARSA militants.
Myanmar’s security forces admitted to the September 2017 killings of 10 Rohingya men in Inn Din village – a massacre exposed by a media investigation. Two Reuters journalists were arrested while researching the story. In September 2018, the reporters were convicted of breaking a state secrets law and sentenced to seven years in prison. They were released in May 2019, after more than a year behind bars.
Myanmar continues to block international investigators from probing rights violations on its soil. This includes barring entry to the UN-mandated fact-finding mission and the UN’s special rapporteurs for the country.
What is the situation in Bangladesh’s refugee camps?
The swollen refugee camps of southern Bangladesh now have the population of a large city but little of the basic infrastructure.
The dimensions of the response have changed as the months and years pass: medical operations focused on saving lives in 2017 must now also think of everyday illnesses and healthcare needs; a generation of young Rohingya have spent another year without formal schooling or ways to earn a living; women (and men) reported sexual violence at the hands of Myanmar’s military, but today the violence happens within the cramped confines of the camps.
The coronavirus has magnified the problems and aid shortfalls in 2020. The government limited all but essential services and restricted aid access to the camps. Humanitarian groups say visits to health centres have dropped by half – driven in part by fear and misunderstandings. Gender-based violence has risen, and already-minimal services for women and girls are now even more rare.
The majority of Rohingya refugees live in camps with population densities of less than 15 square metres per person – far below the minimum international guidelines for refugee camps (30 to 45 square metres per person). The risk of disease outbreaks is high in such crowded conditions, aid groups say.
Rohingya refugees live in fragile shelters in the middle of floodplains and on landslide-prone hillsides. Aid groups say seasonal monsoon floods threaten large parts of the camps, which are also poorly prepared for powerful cyclones that typically peak along coastal Bangladesh in May and October.
The funding request for the Rohingya response – totalling more than $1 billion in 2020 – represents one of the largest humanitarian appeals for a crisis this year. Previous appeals have been underfunded, which aid groups said had a direct impact on the quality of services available.
What’s happening in Rakhine State?
The UN estimates that 470,000 non-displaced Rohingya still live in Rakhine State. Aid groups say they continue to have extremely limited access to northern Rakhine State – the flashpoint of 2017’s military purge. There are “alarming” rates of malnutrition among children in northern Rakhine, according to UN agencies.
Rohingya still living in northern Rakhine face heavy restrictions on working, going to school, and accessing healthcare. The UN says remaining Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine communities continue to live in fear of each other.
Additionally, some 125,000 Rohingya live in barricaded camps in central Rakhine State. The government created these camps following clashes between Rohingya and Rakhine communities in 2012. Rohingya there face severe restrictions and depend on aid groups for basic services.
A separate conflict between the military and the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine armed group, has brought new displacement and civilian casualties. Clashes displaced tens of thousands of people in Rakhine and neighbouring Chin State by early 2020, and humanitarian access has again been severely restricted. In February 2020, Myanmar’s government re-imposed mobile internet blackouts in several townships in Rakhine and Chin states, later extending high-speed restrictions until the end of October. Rights groups say the blackout could risk lives and make it even harder for humanitarian aid to reach people trapped by conflict. Amnesty International has warned of a looming food insecurity crisis in Rakhine.
Rights groups have called on the UN Security Council to refer Myanmar to the International Criminal Court to investigate allegations of committing atrocity crimes. The UN body has not done so.
There are at least three parallel attempts, in three separate courts, to pursue accountability. ICC judges have authorised prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to begin an investigation into one aspect: the alleged deportation of the Rohingya, which is a crime against humanity under international law.
Separately, the West African nation of The Gambia filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice asking the UN’s highest court to hold Myanmar accountable for “state-sponsored genocide”. In an emergency injunction granted in January 2020, the court ordered Myanmar to “take all measures within its power” to protect the Rohingya.
And in a third legal challenge, a Rohingya rights group launched a case calling on courts in Argentina to prosecute military and civilian officials – including Aung San Suu Kyi – under the concept of universal jurisdiction, which pushes for domestic courts to investigate international crimes.
Bangladesh and Myanmar have pledged to begin the repatriation of Rohingya refugees, but three separate deadlines have come and gone with no movement. In June 2018, two UN agencies signed a controversial agreement with Myanmar – billed as a first step to participating in any eventual returns plan. The UN, rights groups, and refugees themselves say Rakhine State is not yet safe for Rohingya to return.
With no resolution in sight in Myanmar and bleak prospects in Bangladesh, a growing number of Rohingya women and children are using once-dormant smuggling routes to travel to countries like Malaysia.
A regional crisis erupted in 2020 as multiple countries shut their borders to Rohingya boats, citing the coronavirus, leaving hundreds of people stranded at sea for weeks. Dozens are believed to have died.
Bangladesh has raised the possibility of transferring 100,000 Rohingya refugees to an uninhabited, flood-prone island – a plan that rights groups say would effectively create an “island detention centre”. Most Rohingya refuse to go, but Bangladeshi authorities detained more than 300 people on the island in 2020 after they were rescued at sea.
The government has imposed growing restrictions on the Rohingya as the crisis continues. In recent months, authorities have enforced orders barring most Rohingya from leaving the camp areas, banned the sale of SIM cards and cut mobile internet, and tightened restrictions on NGOs. Local community tensions have also risen. Aid groups report a rise in anti-Rohingya hate speech and racism, as well as “rapidly deteriorating security dynamics”.
Local NGOs and civil society groups are pushing for a greater role in leading the response, warning that international donor funding will dwindle over the long term.
And rights groups say Rohingya refugees themselves have had little opportunity to participate in decisions that affect their futures – both in Bangladesh’s camps and when it comes to the possibility of returning to Myanmar.
#asile #migrations #réfugiés #Birmanie #Myanmar #chronologie #histoire #génocide #Bangladesh #réfugiés_rohingya #Rakhine #camps_de_réfugiés #timeline #time-line #Arakan_Rohingya_Salvation_Army (#ARSA) #nettoyage_ethnique #justice #Cour_internationale_de_Justice (#CIJ)
Rohingya refugees lead response as Bangladesh camps face COVID-19 and the monsoon season - Bangladesh | ReliefWeb
2 Mideast countries, world’s top virus rates per population
FILE - In this May 14, 2019 file photo, two people take in the sea breeze at the Corniche waterfront promenade in Doha, Qatar. The small, neighboring sheikhdoms of Bahrain and Qatar have the world’s highest per capita rates of coronavirus infections in the world. In the two Mideast countries, COVID-19 epidemics initially swept undetected through camps housing healthy and young foreign laborers. In Qatar, a new study found that nearly 60% of those testing positive showed no symptoms at all. In Bahrain, authorities put the number of asymptomatic spreaders of the virus even higher, at 68%. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The small, neighboring sheikhdoms of Bahrain and Qatar have the world’s highest per capita rates of coronavirus infections. In the two Mideast countries, COVID-19 epidemics initially swept undetected through camps housing healthy and young foreign laborers, studies now show. In Qatar, a new study found that nearly 60% of those testing positive showed no symptoms at all, calling into question the usefulness of mass temperature checks meant to stop the infected from mingling with others. In Bahrain, authorities put the asymptomatic figure even higher, at 68%. These results reflect both the wider problems faced by Gulf Arab countries reliant on cheap foreign labor and their relative success in tracking their COVID-19 epidemics, given their oil wealth and authoritarian governments. Aggressive testing boosted the number of confirmed cases as health officials in Bahrain and Qatar targeted vulnerable labor camps and neighborhoods, where migrant workers from Asia sleep, eat and live up to dozen people per room. “This is why globally we failed to control, I think, the infection because simply the response has been focused on trying to find cases and isolate them and quarantine their contacts,” said Laith Abu-Raddad, a disease researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar. “Now, if most people getting the infection are actually spreading the infection without even knowing it, this really does not actually work.” (...) Both rely heavily on foreign labor, whether white-collar workers in banks or blue-collar laborers scaling scaffolding on construction sites. Qatar in particular embarked on a massive construction boom ahead of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The virus found a home in the cramped quarters that foreign laborers live in while trying to save money to send back home. In Qatar, nearly 30% of those found infected were from India, while 18% were Nepalis and 14% were Bangladeshis, according to a study by Abu-Raddad and others.
C’est l’illustration qu’une société qui laisse une partie des gens dans des conditions dégueulasses, prétendant qu’elle ne fait pas partie de la société, ne peut pas bien se soigner. Singapour a bien géré la pandémie jusqu’à ce que... elle explose chez les #travailleurs_migrants en raison du risque mathématique que constituent leurs conditions de #logement.
Cox’s Bazar refugee camps: where social distancing is impossible | World news | The Guardian
EU: Damning draft report on the implementation of the Return Directive
Tineke Strik, the Green MEP responsible for overseeing the passage through the European Parliament of the ’recast Return Directive’, which governs certain common procedures regarding the detention and expulsion of non-EU nationals, has prepared a report on the implementation of the original 2008 Return Directive. It criticises the Commission’s emphasis, since 2017, on punitive enforcement measures, at the expense of alternatives that have not been fully explored or implemented by the Commission or the member states, despite the 2008 legislation providing for them.
See: DRAFT REPORT on the implementation of the Return Directive (2019/2208(INI)): ▻https://www.statewatch.org/media/documents/news/2020/jun/ep-libe-returns-directive-implementation-draft-rep-9-6-20.pdf
From the explanatory statement:
“This Report, highlighting several gaps in the implementation of the Return Directive, is not intended to substitute the still overdue fully-fledged implementation assessment of the Commission. It calls on Member States to ensure compliance with the Return Directive and on the Commission to ensure timely and proper monitoring and support for its implementation, and to enforce compliance if necessary.
With a view to the dual objective of the Return Directive, notably promoting effective returns and ensuring that returns comply with fundamental rights and procedural safeguards, this Report shows that the Directive allows for and supports effective returns, but that most factors impeding effective return are absent in the current discourse, as the effectiveness is mainly stressed and understood as return rate.”
Parliamentary procedure page: Implementation report on the Return Directive (European Parliament, link: ▻https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2019/2208(INI)&l=en)
#Directive_Retour #EU #Europe #Union_européenne #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #rétention #détention_administrative #évaluation #identification #efficacité #2008_Return_Directive #régimes_parallèles #retour_volontaire #déboutés #sans-papiers #permis_de_résidence #régularisation #proportionnalité #principe_de_proportionnalité #AVR_programmes #AVR #interdiction_d'entrée_sur_le_territoire #externalisation #Gambie #Bangladesh #Turquie #Ethiopie #Afghanistan #Guinée #Côte_d'Ivoire #droits_humains #Tineke_Strik #risque_de_fuite #fuite #accord #réadmission
Quelques passages intéressants tirés du rapport:
The study shows that Member States make use of the possibility offered in Article 2(2)(a) not to apply the Directive in “border cases”, by creating parallel regimes, where procedures falling outside the scope of the Directive offer less safeguards compared to the regular return procedure, for instance no voluntary return term, no suspensive effect of an appeal and less restrictions on the length of detention. This lower level of protection gives serious reasons for concern, as the fact that border situations may remain outside the scope of the Directive also enhances the risks of push backs and refoulement. (...) Your Rapporteur considers that it is key to ensure a proper assessment of the risk of refoulement prior to the issuance of a return decision. This already takes place in Sweden and France. Although unaccompanied minors are rarely returned, most Member States do not officially ban their return. Their being subject to a return procedure adds vulnerability to their situation, due to the lack of safeguards and legal certainty.
According to Eurostat, Member States issued over 490.000 return decisions in 2019, of which 85% were issued by the ten Member States under the current study. These figures are less reliable then they seem, due to the divergent practices. In some Member States, migrants are issued with a return decision more than once, children are not issued a decision separately, and refusals at the border are excluded.
Statistics on the percentage of departure being voluntary show significant varieties between the Member States: from 96% in Poland to 7% in Spain and Italy. Germany and the Netherlands have reported not being able to collect data of non-assisted voluntary returns, which is remarkable in the light of the information provided by other Member States. According to Frontex, almost half of the departures are voluntary.
As Article 7(4) is often applied in an automatic way, and as the voluntary departure period is often insufficient to organise the departure, many returnees are automatically subject to an entry ban. Due to the different interpretations of a risk of absconding, the scope of the mandatory imposition of an entry ban may vary considerably between the countries. The legislation and practice in Belgium, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands and Sweden provides for an automatic entry ban if the term for voluntary departure was not granted or respected by the returnee and in other cases, the imposition is optional. In Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and Bulgaria however, legislation or practice provides for an automatic imposition of entry bans in all cases, including cases in which the returnee has left during the voluntary departure period. Also in the Netherlands, migrants with a voluntary departure term can be issued with an entry ban before the term is expired. This raises questions on the purpose and effectiveness of imposing an entry ban, as it can have a discouraging effect if imposed at an early stage. Why leave the territory in time on a voluntary basis if that is not rewarded with the possibility to re-enter? This approach is also at odds with the administrative and non-punitive approach taken in the Directive.
National legislation transposing the definition of “risk of absconding” significantly differs, and while several Member States have long lists of criteria which justify finding a risk of absconding (Belgium has 11, France 8, Germany 7, The Netherlands 19), other Member States (Bulgaria, Greece, Poland) do not enumerate the criteria in an exhaustive manner. A broad legal basis for detention allows detention to be imposed in a systematic manner, while individual circumstances are marginally assessed. National practices highlighted in this context also confirm previous studies that most returns take place in the first few weeks and that longer detention hardly has an added value.
In its 2016 Communication on establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration, the Commission recognised that cooperation with third countries is essential in ensuring effective and sustainable returns. Since the adoption of this Communication, several informal arrangements have been concluded with third countries, including Gambia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Guinea and Ivory Coast. The Rapporteur regrets that such informal deals are concluded in the complete absence of duly parliamentary scrutiny and democratic and judicial oversight that according to the Treaties the conclusion of formal readmission agreements would warrant.
With the informalisation of cooperation with third countries in the field of migration, including with transit countries, also came an increased emphasis on conditionality in terms of return and readmission. The Rapporteur is concerned that funding earmarked for development cooperation is increasingly being redirected away from development and poverty eradication goals.
#Cox's_Bazar refugee camps: where social distancing is impossible
Faced with unsanitary conditions and overcrowding, families say they fear the coronavirus will bring disaster
#réfugiés #distanciation_sociale #covid-19 #coronavirus #asile #migrations #camps_de_réfugiés #Rohingya #réfugiés_rohingya #Bangladesh #cartographie #visualisation
Fear, Covid-19 stalk Rohingya refugee children - Asia Times
Having already fled for their lives in the face of brutal violence in Myanmar, Rohingya refugees now live in overcrowded camps. They share communal washing facilities and latrines. They live off the food distributed by aid agencies. After decades of discrimination in Myanmar and poor facilities for learning in the camps, literacy and numeracy skills are low, their trust is limited, and the amount of misinformation swirling through the camps is high.Covid-19 has now reached the world’s largest refugee settlement. Refugees and the humanitarian community have been preparing for this for some months. But despite that, it’s likely Covid-19 will quickly spread through the camps – which have a population density four times that of New York City.
A significant proportion of the 400,000 Bangladeshis who live and work in Qatar are on ‘Azad’ (free) visas which are obtained illegally from a sponsor, allowing migrants to work anywhere of their choosing. Debt-financed migration through brokers is widespread, especially among irregular migrants as many come from poor families and lack the qualifications to get skilled jobs. This borrowing places migrants and their families in a highly precarious situation until the debt is repaid, which can take several months.
Brac, an international development organization, is going to provide emergency aid to some 7,250 expatriates who lost their jobs and had to return home empty-handed as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic highlights the need for better cooperation over migration.
Bangladesh has offered incentives to encourage expatriate workers to send their money through legal channels.
Public bodies and remittance services providers must improve access to digital solutions.
L’OIM et Quizrr lancent une application de formation en ligne pour les migrants en Thaïlande | Organisation internationale pour les migrations
« En ces temps incertains, l’information sur les droits du travail et les pratiques éthiques est plus importante que jamais. Tout le monde doit savoir comment rester en sécurité et en bonne santé, et comment éviter la propagation de la COVID-19. En collaborant avec l’OIM, nous pouvons ajouter des informations sur la COVID-19 dans l’application, non seulement pour les travailleurs migrants des pays voisins en Thaïlande, mais aussi en Chine et au Bangladesh. »
Des cyclistes rohingyas partagent des informations clés sur la COVID19 dans les camps de réfugiés de Cox’s Bazar | Organisation internationale pour les migrations
Cox’s Bazar - La distanciation physique est un aspect crucial dans la lutte contre la pandémie de COVID-19. Mais cela pose des problèmes pour la circulation des informations clés à un moment où il est essentiel d’être bien informé pour préserver la santé publique. À Cox’s Bazar, le plus grand camp de réfugiés du monde, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) continue d’explorer de nouvelles façons de transmettre des messages clés aux Rohingyas et aux membres des communautés d’accueil dans tout le district. Des initiatives telles que la diffusion de messages à bord de rickshaws et le système de serveur vocal interactif de l’OIM font d’énormes progrès pour garantir que le public soit tenu informé.Cependant, des lacunes subsistent là où l’accès au téléphone et au réseau routier est limité. Pour amplifier les messages clés et s’assurer que personne ne reste sans accès à des informations vitales, l’unité de santé mentale et de soutien psychosocial (SMSPS) de l’OIM à Cox’s Bazar a commencé à diffuser des informations à vélo dans les établissements de Rohingyas. l’OIM aide les participants rohingyas à utiliser des vélos achetés et peints localement pour se déplacer dans des parties du camp préalablement identifiées. Les cyclistes utilisent des mégaphones pour diffuser des messages préenregistrés dans chaque zone. L’initiative est menée par des réfugiés rohingyas, pour des réfugiés rohingyas, et a déjà atteint environ 67 000 bénéficiaires à travers le camp. La diffusion de messages à grande échelle se poursuivra à mesure que le nombre de cas de COVID-19 augmentera. Au 10 juin 2020, 37 réfugiés rohingyas avaient été testés positifs au virus. Le contenu des messages va d’informations clés sur la COVID-19 à des informations générales sur la santé mentale et le soutien psychosocial, et est enregistré en anglais, en rohingya et en bengali avec le soutien de Bengal Creative Media et de Traducteurs sans frontières. Les messages sont stockés sur des clés USB, de sorte que les informations puissent être facilement adaptées aux conditions variables où les restrictions limitent la circulation des véhicules dans le camp.
Cox’s Bazar–Social distancing is a crucial aspect in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. But that poses challenges to the flow of key information during a time when being well-informed also is critical to public health.