The implementation of international human rights law is the only reasonable framework on the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of Rohingya refugees in line with international standards, said speakers at an international conference on Rohingya crisis yesterday.
The criminology department of Dhaka University organised the two-day conference titled “Rohingya: Politics, Ethnic Cleansing and Uncertainty” at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Building of the university.
Assistant professor of Hong Kong University Kelley Loper presented the keynote titled "The Rohingya, the search for solution and the potential of international human rights law" at the conference.
“In light of the recent persecution on Rohingya people, the persistence of serious human rights violation and protracted displacement of them, several scholars have criticised the human rights movement for failing to play an active role during the time,” said Kelley in her keynote.
Only the international human rights law provides a pragmatic, practical and principled framework for anchoring and informing more effective and realistic responses to such human rights violation, she said.
The professor said the process of implementing the law is long and drawn out, involves complex interactions among a range of actors at the international, regional and domestic levels.
“But human rights law nevertheless provides and indispensable roadmap that may, hopefully, eventually persuade and deliver real change, and overdue justice,” she added.
Inaugurating the session, DU Vice Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman also emphasised implementing the human rights law.
The VC claimed that the Myanmar government is trying to delay the repatriation process, and urged the international organisations to continue putting pressure on Myanmar for smooth repatriation of the displaced Rohingya population.
Speaking as the chief guest, former Chief Justice Md Mozammel Hossain said the repatriation process is going to be heavily controlled, since the decision of whom to take back lies with the Myanmar government.
“Furthermore, it is difficult to say how long the returnees will be housed in temporary resettlement camps; the aftermath of 2012 violence shows that they could remain there for years. All of these render the repatriation process unsustainable and the returnees vulnerable to future displacements,” he said.
He also expressed hope that good sense would prevail over the government of Myanmar to implement the repatriation agreement with Bangladesh within two years, as agreed between our two countries.
A total of 72 papers will be presented by around 50 researchers, teachers, lawyers and students at the conference, which concludes today.