92.The UK Government has made significant financial contributions to the humanitarian response in Bangladesh since the crisis started. It is crucial the Government continues this support while there are still displaced Rohingya living in camps in Cox’s Bazar and should encourage other donors to contribute to the US$877 million required to fund the 2020 Joint Response Plan.
93.The UK Government should continue to make representations to the Government of Bangladesh on the immediate lifting of the mobile internet ban affecting Cox’s Bazar District and the lack of access to SIM cards for the Rohingya. The UK should emphasise the multiple benefits of effective internet access: including Covid-19 advice, guidance on tackling people trafficking and providing education services to the children of the camps.
94.The UK Government should make further representations against the fencing being erected around the camps, relaying concerns that it could limit the Rohingya’s legitimate freedom of movement and access to services. The UK should urge the Bangladesh authorities to adopt an approach to security that puts the Rohingya first and incudes measures such as a civilian police force for community safeguarding.
95.The UK Government should also continue to make representations to the Government of Myanmar, on the internet ban in Rakhine State and on the allegations of ongoing human rights abuses. The UK should continue to press Myanmar to comply with the measures defined by the International Court of Justice in January 2020 and the recommendations set out by the Rakhine Advisory Commission and the domestic Independent Commission of Enquiry.
96.The scope of this exercise did not cover the UK Government’s long-term strategy for development programming in Myanmar. Minister Burt told the Committee in September 2018 that DFID was reviewing its programming in Myanmar. We would be grateful if the Department could set out the results of the review or confirm that the initiative was set aside; if completed, we wish to know how DFID’s aid programme in Myanmar changed as a result.
Published: 22 May 2020