ROHINGYA REFUGEES (Syllabus GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     26th December 2023        

Context: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on December 25 expressed gratitude to Indian authorities at Andaman and Nicobar Islands for taking care of 142 Rohingya refugees, whose boat was intercepted by coastal security agencies near Shaheed Dweep.

Rohingya Refugees

  • About: The Rohingya, primarily Muslims, constitute an ethnic group residing predominantly in the Western Myanmar province of Rakhine.
  • Cultural Distinctiveness: They communicate in a Bengali dialect, distinguishing themselves from the widely spoken Burmese language.
  • Myanmar's Classification: Despite generations of residence, Myanmar views them as migrants who arrived during the Colonial era, categorizing them as "resident foreigners" or "associate citizens."
  • Legal Status in Myanmar: Myanmar officially designates the Rohingya as "resident foreigners" or "associate citizens," reflecting a distinct legal classification within the country.
  • India's Policy on Refugees
  • Non-Signatory Status: India has not ratified the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol.
  • Legal Framework for Foreign Nationals: Undocumented foreign nationals in India are governed by The Foreigners Act (1946), The Registration of Foreigners Act (1939), The Passport (Entry into India) Act (1920), and The Citizenship Act (1955).

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

  • About: UNHCR is a worldwide organization committed to saving lives, protecting rights, and fostering a brighter future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless individuals.
  • Supportive Initiatives: UNHCR actively aids these populations in their voluntary repatriation, resettlement, or local integration efforts, promoting stability and well-being.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland,
  • Legal Foundation: The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol constitute the fundamental legal framework that underpins the mission and actions of UNHCR, guiding its efforts to address the needs of displaced and stateless individuals worldwide.