Statement by the Global Campaign for Education on the Rohingya Crisis

The Global Campaign for Education is appalled by the monstrous and inhumane acts of violence committed against the Rohingya community in Myanmar. These atrocities have led over six hundred thousand people[1] – of which 58% are children, and 60% of the adults are women – to flee from their homes and take refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh.

Any form of violence and human rights violation is unacceptable, and we strongly denounce the denial of responsibility for this act of ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar military and the NLD government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

We commend Bangladesh for its support and humanity by opening its border and providing shelter to the Rohingya refugees, who arrive traumatised, having lost their livelihoods, homes, and in some cases, family members.

The Global Campaign for Education calls for unrestricted humanitarian access to all communities in need, and the safety, protection and peaceful coexistence of all communities in Rakhine State. We further call for members of the Rohingya community who have fled Myanmar to have the right of return, which must be safe, voluntary, and sustainable.

In particular, GCE calls for education to be a fundamental part of the humanitarian response to the crisis. The majority of refugees who have fled to Bangladesh are children, whose resilience in the face of unimaginable trauma can be strengthened if given safety, stability, and – critically – a supportive learning environment. However, education is one of the least funded areas in the response to the Rohingya crisis, and the international community must do much more to direct funding towards the provision of the right to education for children, despite the challenging circumstances.

It is not acceptable for our leaders to turn a blind eye to the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world. As such, we further appeal to the international community to raise its voice to resolve this crisis by creating pressure on the Myanmar government to end the crimes being committed against the Rohingya community. Myanmar must ensure action is taken against those who have perpetrated these atrocities, and to create conditions to ensure all Rohingya refugees can voluntarily return home safely and without fear of further persecution.

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