The government of Bangladesh and the U. N. refugee agency (UNHCR) are compiling a huge database to identify and register hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who have fled to Cox’s Bazar to escape violence and persecution in Myanmar.
The mammoth exercise, which began in earnest at the end of June is expected to take up to six months to complete. During the process, the identities of an estimated 900, 000 Rohingya refugees will be documented. They include 700, 000 Rohingya who have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, since August and some 200, 000 others who have fled previous waves of persecution in Myanmar.
UNHCR spokesman Charlie Yaxley said aid agencies will be better able to assist and protect the refugees once their identities and special needs are known and affirmed.
“The verification will play a key role in establishing refugees’ identities and their declared places of origin in Myanmar. It will help to preserve their right to voluntarily return home, if and when they decide that the conditions are right to do so. ”