Through their bilateral Joint Working Group on repatriation, the Government of Myanmar conveyed to the Government of Bangladesh the names of 3,450 Rohingya refugees who have been cleared for return to Rakhine State, Myanmar. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, sees Myanmar’s engagement in this process as a positive step in the affirmation of the right to return of Rohingya refugees.
UNHCR has been assisting the Government of Bangladesh in surveying these refugees on whether they wish to return to Myanmar and to confirm the voluntariness of any individual decision to do so.
Over the past few days, together with Bangladeshi officials, UNHCR has visited refugee families in their shelters to establish whether they wish to return to Myanmar. So far, none of those interviewed have indicated a willingness to repatriate at this time. UNHCR will continue assisting the Government of Bangladesh in this process to ensure that all those cleared for return are interviewed. UNHCR appreciates the consistent commitment by Government of Bangladesh to ensure that the refugees’ decisions will be respected.