#AceNewsServices – INDIA(New Delhi) – September 25 – A recent report on Myanmar’s Rohingya stuck in refugee limbo in India, has highlighted how people feel stateless. Here is one person’s story:
‘Myanmar’s Rohingya stuck in refugee limbo in India’
When Kohinoor, a stateless Rohingya Muslim, fled her home in Myanmar after a wave of attacks by majority fanatic Buddhists, “We were chased out of Burma (Myanmar). We were chased out of Bangladesh. Now we are in India, the people here tell us that India is not our country.
So where will we go?” asked Kohinoor, 20, sitting in a makeshift tent on a patch of wasteland in southern Delhi.
“We don’t have any land of our own. Our children don’t go to the government schools as they refuse us admission. When we go to the hospital, they don’t admit people from our community,” said Kohinoor, who fled Myanmar two years ago with her 2-year-old daughter and her sister’s family.
Though the Rohingya minority have lived for generations in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, the largely Buddhist government passed a citizenship law in 1982 which excluded them, denying them the identity cards required for everything from schooling and marriage to finding a job and getting a birth or death certificate. They became stateless.
Hundreds died in communal violence between Buddhists and Rohingya in 2012, worsening their plight, and in the last two years more than 86,000 Rohingya have left, fleeing to countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh.
The Rohingya are among an estimated 10 million stateless people worldwide. Their plight was discussed during the first global forum on statelessness opening in The Hague. This is ahead of an ambitious UN campaign starting in November to eradicate statelessness worldwide within a decade.
India, despite hosting some 30,000 registered refugees, has no legal recognition of asylum seekers, making it difficult for them to use essential services like schools and hospitals, human rights groups say – and the Rohingya community is among the most vulnerable.
According to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), there are around 9,000 Rohingya registered in Delhi. Thousands more, unregistered, are living in other parts of the country such as Jammu and Hyderabad.