United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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As per the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 4,500 Rohingya refugees set off on dangerous journeys across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea IN 2023.

About United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

  • It protects refugees worldwide and facilitates their return home or resettlement.
  • History: It was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1950 in the aftermath of the Second World War to help the millions of people who had lost their homes.
  • It is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution.
  • It was awarded Nobel Peace Prizes in 1954 and 1981.
  • It started the Nansen Refugee Award in 1954 for recognition of outstanding service to the cause of refugees, displaced or stateless people.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Who are the Rohingya refugees?

  • The Rohingya are a Muslim minority ethnic group with their roots in the Arakan kingdom in Myanmar.
  • According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Rohang derives from the word ‘Arakan’ in the Rohingya dialect and ga or gya means from.
  • Rohingya refugees are culturally and religiously distinct from the majority Buddhist population in Myanmar, and speak a Bengali dialect which is different from the common Burmese language.
  • Myanmar has refused to recognise them as an ethnic group, denying them citizenship since 1982.
  • According to Myanmar’s 1982 citizenship law, members of the Rohingya community, along with other ethnic minorities, can only attain citizenship
    • If they prove their ancestors resided in Myanmar before 1823. Otherwise, even if one of their parents is a Myanmar citizen, they are deemed to be “resident foreigners” or “associate citizens.”

Q1) What is the United Nations Human Rights Council?

It is an intergovernmental body within the United Nations whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world.It was created by the General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by replacing the Commission on Human Rights.

Source: Why are Rohingya refugees risking their lives at sea? | Explained