National Workshop held at IUB
A 2-day long national Workshop titled, ‘Comparative Experiences of Statelessness, Migration and Protection’ held at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) from June 22-23, 2019. The Workshop was organized by Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), and Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB) which brought together experts from several disciplines in an attempt to disentangle the complex plight facing the one million plus Rohingya refugees residing in Bangladesh.
Professor Milan Pagon, Vice-Chancellor (Acting), IUB, inaugurated the workshop.
Keynote Speakers of the Workshop were Dr. Shamsul Bari, Chairperson, RIB ; Sara Hossain, Hon. Executive Director, BLAST; Barrister Manzoor Hasan, Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Justice; Justice Md. Nizamul Huq, Hon’ble Justice (Retd.) Appellate Division; Dr. Borhan Uddin Khan, Advisor and Adjunct Professor, IUB and Former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Dhaka; Professor Dr. Imtiaz A Hussain, Dean (Acting), School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, IUB; Haruno Nakashiba, Senior Protection Officer, UNHCR and Brian Barbour, Regional Refugee Protection Advisor (Act for Peace).
The Workshop sought to take updates from key actors working at the ground-level, about the old and persistent problems of, as well as the emerging threats to, the one million plus Rohingya refugees residing in Bangladesh, nearly two years after the mass-influx began. The platform helped facilitate liaison between experts, lawyers, researchers, academics, human rights defenders, activists and NGOs, in order to grasp the multidisciplinary nature of the problem.
Various sessions led by key actors of protection of the Rohingya population further helped sensitize participants to key issues in ethics and client sensitivities; helped examine the ecosystem of operation: the perspectives of Rohingya refugees as well as those of locals residing in the periphery of refugee camps including the roles of different stakeholders in the system; and set the avenue to analyze the legal frameworks available at the Domestic, Regional and International levels which could potentially protect the rights of the Rohingya community.
The first day of the Workshop was more inclined towards understanding the legal framework applicable to the Rohingya population, the second day uncovered protection needs, risks and extents of vulnerability of different groups of refugees: children, women, trafficked victims, the ones with disability among others. The Workshop concluded with recommendations from participants on ways to strengthen the systems of protection in place, such as marriage registrations in the Rohingya camps, hotlines for emergency services and more safe spaces for women and adolescent girls among others. The concluding remark also called for more cooperation among regional actors in protecting the Rohingya community.