PHM-Exch> PHM statement on plight of the Rohingya community

Claudio Schuftan cschuftan at
Sat Oct 14 02:17:43 PDT 2017

On Sat, Oct 7, 2017 at 9:59 AM, Claudio Schuftan <cschuftan at>

> 6 October
> *People’s Health Movement statement on the plight of Rohingya community:*
> The People’s Health Movement expresses deep concern on the plight of
> hundreds of thousands of people of the Rohingya community who have had to
> flee their homes in Myanmar. Faced with state sponsored violence in
> Myanmar, over 500,000 refugees have taken shelter in Bangladesh in the past
> month. They join over 300,000 refugees already in Bangladesh. An additional
> 40,000 are in refugee camps in India. The forced migration of Rohingyas
> from Myanmar has precipitated a major humanitarian crisis, which is linked
> to an acute health crisis among the Rohingya refugee population.
> Rohingyas have been characterized as one of the most persecuted minorities
> in the world. Most of them have been denied citizenship in Myanmar in spite
> of having lived in the country for generations. Concerted military
> operations in Rakhine district of Myanmar, where most of the Rohingya
> people live, has been called a textbook example of ethnic cleansing by UN
> High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein. These
> military operations were the government's response to attacks by the Arakan
> Rohingya Salvation Army, an insurgent group that is said to have links with
> foreign Islamist movements.
> The situation in the refugee camps is dire and requires urgent and
> sustained attention. Most of the refugees have walked long distances and
> have been without food for several days. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF),
> one of the humanitarian agencies providing relief has warned that a
> "massive scale-up of humanitarian aid is needed in Bangladesh to avoid a
> public health disaster". Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK), PHM’s affiliate in
> Bangladesh and also involved in providing relief in the camps in the Cox’s
> Bazar locality of Bangladesh, notes that makeshift settlements on the sides
> of roads and in the hilly terrain do not have sanitation and little potable
> water. People are forced to drink water collected from paddy field puddles
> or hand-dug shallow wells often contaminated with excreta. Hunger and the
> threat of epidemics stalks the camps while medicines and basic supplies are
> in short supply.
> PHM condemns the role of the current government of Myanmar in
> precipitating the current crisis. PHM also deplores the failure by Nobel
> Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has herself faced decades of persecution,
> to put a stop to the violence. Also to be condemned is the role of the
> Indian Government which has announced plans to deport over 40,000 refugees
> in camps in India.
> The global community cannot remain silent in the face of this unfolding
> human tragedy. We appeal to intergovernmental organizations, countries,
> organizations, and individuals to harness donations for humanitarian relief
> – an estimated $500 million is immediately needed -- and also to put
> pressure on the Myanmar government to halt the ethnic cleansing, cement a
> peaceful resolution of the situation and welcome back all Rohingyas who
> have fled Myanmar as legitimate citizens of the country.
> David Sanders                                                         Chiara
> Bodini
> Co-Chair
> Co-Chair
> PHM Steering Council                                        PHM Steering
> Council
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the PHM-Exchange mailing list