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Afghani people are Refugees in their own homes, thanks to Civil War and Taliban

Afghans already form one of the world’s largest refugee populations, with an estimated 2.6 million of them living in neighboring Pakistan and Iran

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A refugee camp, Wikimedia commons

ISLAMABAD- The number of Afghans who have fled violence and remain trapped in their own country has doubled over the past three years, says a new report by Amnesty International.

A staggering 1.2 million people are internally displaced in Afghanistan, showing a dramatic increase from some 500,000 in 2013, says the report in an attempt to cast a fresh light on the country’s forgotten victims of war. It comes amid fears of an escalation in the Taliban-led insurgent attacks this year.

“Even after fleeing their homes to seek safety, increasing numbers of Afghans are languishing in appalling conditions in their own country, and fighting for their survival with no end in sight,” warned Amnesty’s South Asia Director Champa Patel.

https://youtu.be/EETwbQtVKFU

 

Afghans already form one of the world’s largest refugee populations, with an estimated 2.6 million of them living in neighboring Pakistan and Iran, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

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“While the world’s attention seems to have moved on from Afghanistan, we risk forgetting the plight of those left behind by the conflict,” said Patel.

Despite the promises made by successive Afghan governments, internally displaced people (IDPs) in Afghanistan continue to lack adequate shelter, food, water, health care, and opportunities to pursue education and employment, according to Amnesty International’s findings.

Number of Refugee from Afghanistan are increasing, Wikimedia commons
The number of Refugee from Afghanistan are increasing, Wikimedia commons

The research found the situation facing IDPs has dramatically worsened over the past years, with less aid and essentials, such as food.It blamed alleged corruption, a lack of capacity in the Afghan government and fading international interest for a lack of implementation of a new national IDP Policy launched in 2014.

Instead, the report says, forced evictions by both the government and private sectors is a daily threat to the IDPs.“The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, charged with coordinating the Policy’s implementation, is badly under-resourced and has been beset by corruption allegations for years,” it added.

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Most of the internally displaced population lacks basic health care facilities, and education for IDP children has been interrupted since they were forced to leave their homes.

“They have lost the traditional sources of their livelihoods, and only have a few opportunities for informal work, creating circumstances where women are excluded, and children are being exploited and not educated,” said Patel.

Amnesty International has called on the Afghan authorities and the international community to immediately ensure that the most urgent needs of those displaced are met.“Afghanistan and the world must act now to end the country’s displacement crisis before it is too late,” Patel warned.The Afghan government has not yet commented on Amnesty’s report.(VOA)

ALSO READ:

  • Pritam Go Green

    World superpowers along with the United Nations should take a look o this issue. Our Afghani brothers and sisters are suffering a lot. We need to help them asap.

  • devika todi

    this is an issue that requires urgent attention of the organisations who contribute in eradicating it.

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Here’s How Informal Education Is Helping Rohingya Refugee Children

Informal Education Brings Hope to Rohingya Refugee Children in Bangladesh

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Rohingya Education
A child reads a book in a makeshift school run by Rohingya teachers in Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. VOA

By Tahira Kibria, Rikar Hussein

Dozens of sprawling informal education centers across refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar are providing a glimmer of hope for thousands of Rohingya refugee children who survived a massacre in their home country of Myanmar in 2017.

Across makeshift camps in refugee city of Kutupalong, hundreds of informal learning centers have been set up by international agencies and Rohingya community leaders to give the refugee children access to education. The opportunity to learn and improve skills is something the youngsters were never offered back in Myanmar.

Sharmeen Noor, a mathematics teacher at Kutupalong Primary School, told VOA that their programs ensure the Rohingya children do not fall behind in their education despite the absence of formal schooling. The centers can also create a positive impact to help those traumatized by the Burmese army’s 2017 crackdown that forced nearly 700,000 ethnic Rohingya to flee from Rakhine state to Bangladesh.

“Those who have seen violence think about it all the time,” said Noor. “They pay very little attention in class. As teachers, we are working on this matter. We are trying our best to bring them into normal life. God willing we will do it.”

About 350 Rohingya children are currently enrolled at Kutupalong Primary School, which provides basic informal education from preprimary through fifth grade.  The children are taught subjects such as general science, mathematical, English, Burmese, and Bengali.

Noor said many of their teaching activities focus on play-based learning to provide education and at the same time give the children a chance to forget the daily struggles they face in the overcrowded camps. Particular attention is given to children who are mentally challenged.

Rohingya Education
Rohingya refugee boys who study in an Islamic school smile as they react to the camera at a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. VOA

“We put these children in between two good students so that the kids can follow their example … It is challenging, all kids are not similar.  To understand them we have to rely on their mental ability.  We make a list of pupils who are behind.   To bring them to a normal level,  we try to provide something they like, such as games,” Noor added.

2017 Crackdown

More than 700,000 ethnic Rohingya people fled their homes in Rakhine province of neighboring Myanmar in the summer of 2017 due to a crackdown by Myanmar’s army and Buddhist militias. The UN has described the army’s campaign in Rakhine province as “textbook ethnic cleansing”, and has charged that the Rohingya people suffered killings, rape, and mass destruction of their homes by the army and Buddhist militias.

Most of those who fled to neighboring Bangladesh have been placed in Kutupalong, making it the largest refugee settlement complex in the world.

An estimated 400,000 of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children. Human rights organizations say only one-third of them have access to education. Lack of basic services and health care have also put many children at the risk of malnutrition and infectious diseases.

In a December report, Human Rights Watch said authorities in Bangladesh were deliberately preventing aid groups from providing education in the camps and banning Rohingya children from enrolling in schools outside the camps.

“Bangladesh has made it clear that it doesn’t want the Rohingya to remain indefinitely, but depriving children of education just compounds the harm to the children and won’t resolve the refugees’ plight any faster,” said Bill Van Esveld, the watchdog’s associate children’s rights director.

“The government of Bangladesh saved countless lives by opening its borders and providing refuge to the Rohingya, but it needs to end its misguided policy of blocking education for Rohingya children,” he added.

Informal learning centers

The Bangladesh government, however, announced in January that it was working with the United Nations’ children agency UNICEF to provide formal education to the children. UNICEF described the move as “a major new phase” for education of the refugee children that initially targets 10,000 Rohingya students from grades six to nine and will later be expanded to other grades.

Through a program called the Learning Competency Framework and Approach, the UNICEF currently provides informal education to 220,000 Rohingya children between aged four to 14. An estimated 315,000 children and adults are getting education in over 3,200 learning centers supported by the UNICEF and other agencies.

Many Rohingya refugees, however, say the learning centers are not enough to empower their children and equip them with needed skills.

Rohingya Education
Across makeshift camps in refugee city of Kutupalong, hundreds of informal learning centers have been set up by international agencies and Rohingya community leaders to give the refugee children access to education. VOA

Religious studies

Across the camps, religious leaders have volunteered to provide religious teaching in mosques and makeshift centers known as Madrasas. The children in the Madrasas mainly focus on Islamic studies and Arabic.

Teacher Abdus Sobhan told VOA that 15 volunteer instructors were working with him at a Madrasa hosting 93 students. The children in his classes are taught to recite Quran and learn Arabic.

“It is important to teach children religion, so that they refrain from bad actions and devote themselves to God,” Sobhan told VOA.

Hafez Idris, another Rohingya teacher based in Kutupalong lambashia I2 B3 camp, is working with four other teachers to help orphaned kids learn how to recite the Quran. The learning center, Nurani Yetim Khana and Hafez Khana, hosts as many as 250 Rohingya orphans who are put into religious studies as well as math, Burmese and English.

“We don’t take any money from students or people from our block, but if anyone willingly wants to contribute, then we accept the money.   We run this Madrasa to save our religion and to educate our young generation about religious studies,” he told VOA.

According to Hafiz Ullah, another teacher at Hafez Khana, by providing children with education, even if informal, the community hopes to preserve their culture from being lost after being uprooted from Rakhine state.

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Ullah said it was essential that the children learn what their community went through in Myanmar, particularly because many of them grow up in camps with no memory of their homeland.

“Our situation was very bad. We could not even wear our religious dress, and we just came to Bangladesh with one lungi, one t-shirt, and a cap,” he told VOA. (VOA)