Newly arrived Rohingya refugees living in Nayapara Shalbagan camp in Cox’s Bazar have elected 12 leaders including women in a very first camp committee election, an UNHCR release said today.
In order to establish good governance among Rohingya communities, UN refugee agency organised the election as a pilot project, it said.
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), US church based agency, and Bangladesh local government authorities are also assisting the project.
A total of 12 leaders, deputy leaders and block representatives have been elected through the election in which half of them are women, the release said.
“It is a tremendous achievement of the Rohingya refugees living in Shalbagan camp, who have decided that half of their representatives will be women,” said, Bernadette Castel-Hollingsworth, UNHCR's Senior Protection Coordinator in Cox's Bazar.
“This election will bring a significant change in their (Rohingya refugees) leadership skills which will be more democratic,” Mohammad Abul Kalam, relief and refugee repatriation commissioner (RRRC) of the disaster management ministry, said.
As a part of community-based good governance, more such elections will be held in other refugee camp areas.
Some 700,000 Rohingya minorities crossed the border from Myanmar's Rakhine state since August last year, and are now living in cramped camps at Cox's Bazar.