India’s move to deport 14 year old Rohingya Muslim girl to Myanmar draws criticism

Rohingya children in India’s Haryana refugee camp. Photo: Irfan Hadi K

India’s move to deport 14-year-old Rohingya Muslim girl to coup-hit Myanmar while her family lived in a refugee camp in Bangladesh draws criticism.

According to the latest developments, Myanmar authorities have refused to accept girl deported by India.

The girl was taken to a border town in Manipur on Thursday for deportation, but the immigration department of the neighbouring country refused to open the gate of the international border saying that the situation is not appropriate for any deportation currently.

The girl will be sent back to Assam, where she had been sheltering for more than a year.

United Nations refugee agency and rights groups criticised India for the move.

“The situation in Myanmar is not yet conducive for voluntary return in a safe, secure and sustainable manner, and returning the child to Myanmar may place her at immediate risk of serious harm,” UNHCR spokesperson told the presser.

“Possible Deportation of 14 years old Rohingya refugee girl to Myanmar is in serious violation of International Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. India is party to both the conventions. It also violates Article 21 of the Indian Constitution,” Rohingya Human Rights Initiative’s Ali Johar said.

Thousands of Rohingya refugees who were brutally persecuted and
denied citizenship in their home country Myanmar, have lived in India for years but Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government regards them as a security threat and has started detaining them.