Kutupalong refugee camp
Kutupalong refugee camp
কুতুপালং শরণার্থী শিবির
Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh
(Photo taken by Maaz Hussain/VOA)
|District||Cox's Bazar District|
|• Total||13 km2 (5 sq mi)|
(June 30, 2020)
|• Density||46,000/km2 (120,000/sq mi)|
|• Camp||16,714 (Kutupalong RC); 581,831 (expansion site)|
Kutupalong refugee camp (Bengali: কুতুপালং শরণার্থী শিবির) is the world's largest refugee camp. It is in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, inhabited mostly by Rohingya refugees that fled from ethnic and religious persecution in neighboring Myanmar. It is one of two government-run refugee camps in Cox's Bazaar, the other being the Nayapara refugee camp.
The UNHCR Camp office at Kutupalong is supported by seven international entities: the governments of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan, Finland, Sweden and the IKEA Foundation.
Although the "Kutupalong Registered Rohingya Refugee camp," in Ukhia, is the original camp, "Kutupalong refugee camp" may also refer to the makeshift camps that have sprung up adjacent to the government-operated camp, although these are not officially part of the refugee camp. Makeshift camps at Kutupalong and surrounding areas have grown to accommodate refugees fleeing Myanmar over the years. In late 2017, due to an unprecedented influx of refugees, the Kutupalong makeshift camp and surrounding camps at Ghumdum, Balukhali, Thangkhali and others swelled rapidly, merging into each other. The International Organization for Migration refers to the collective settlement as the Kutupalong–Balukhali expansion site.
Development and evolution
The two refugee camps of Kutupalong and Nayapara had a combined population of around 34,000 registered refugees in July 2017.
Beginning August 25, 2017, extensive attacks upon Myanmar's Rohingya in Rakhine state, by Myanmar's military and local civilians, drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee Myanmar, into Bangladesh, swelling the camp.
In early September, 2017, Bangladesh's Disaster Management and Relief Minister said there was "no restriction on Rohingyas' entry" into Bangladesh, and those refugees would be sheltered "as long as they wanted." The Bangladesh government decided to bring all the Rohingya refugees "to a particular place," and build a camp for them in Kutupalong. The government's forest department allocated a portion of its 5,000 acres in Kutupalong for an expanded settlement. In all, 3,000 acres were allocated for a camp developed to accommodate up to 800,000 refugees. In September 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that the combined population of the two refugee camps had increased to over 77,000.
With flimsy shelters, built on steep hillsides, the camps are prone to flooding and landslides, particularly during monsoons. In August, 2018, Human Rights Watch urged Bangladesh to relocate the camps to sturdier structures, on safer ground in Cox's Bazar.
On June 30, 2020, the Kutupalong refugee camp and expansion site had a combined population of 598,545 and 187,423 families, with an area of just 13 square kilometres., while entire refugee camp have been 860,356.
By late 2019, the development of the camps had been partially accomplished through the exploitation and destruction of 8,000 acres of forested area -- including over 6,164 acres for living space, and 1,837 acres of forest for firewood and building materials (particularly bamboo), and other environmental losses, estimated to total about Tk24,200,000,000 (US$290,400,000) -- alarming local citizens, environmentalists, and government officials.
Critically endangered Asian elephants, whose natural habitat includes the area around Cox's Bazar, endanger camp residents because the camps are on the elephant's historical migratory route and grazing areas, resulting in human-elephant conflicts, which, by late 2019, had killed at least 13 Rohingya in the Kutupalong-Balukhali settlement. In response, officials of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) developed a mitigation program, which included hundreds of Rohingya refugee volunteers organized into Elephant Response Teams (ERTs) to respond to the events, typically driving elephants away through standardized techniques.
Local Bangladeshis have complained of Rohingya from the camps undermining natives' job prospects and becoming involved in criminal activity (particularly illicit drug trade in ya ba, a type of methamphetamine),. Also, authorities have struggled to cope with human traffickers smuggling Rohingya into and out of Bangladesh (particularly by sea), and exploiting women and children for the region's sex trade. In response, the authorities have restricted Rohingya refugees' movements into and out of the camps, and limited their right to work or travel outside the camps -- resulting in rising hardship and frustration for the refugees.
Relocation and repatriation attempts
Attempted repatriation to Myanmar
By mid-2018 -- as the burden of hosting nearly a million refugees (mostly at Kutupalong) became increasingly stressful and frustrating to the Bangladesh government and public -- they began pushing for repatriation of the Rohingya, back to Myanmar.
However, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh refused to be repatriated, due to continuing persecution and violence of the Rohingya still in Myanmar, and Myanmar's refusal to accept Rohingya demands to be reinstated as citizens, restored to their lands and property, granted freedom, and have international observers or peacekeepers to safeguard the Rohingyas' rights and safety -- demands supported by international organizations. The Rohingya refugees boycotted and protested repatriation events in 2018 and 2019, and shortly after the last 2019 repatriation event, on the second anniversary of the August 25, 2017 attacks on the Rohingya, a mass memorial service and protest arose in the camps, involving tens of thousands of Rohingya (some estimates say 100,000), catching alarmed Bangladesh national authorities by surprise (though district officials had been aware of the event).
Attempted relocation to Bhasan Char island
Efforts to reduce the population of the camps -- by moving about 100,000 Rohingya to an island -- met with equally firm resistance. Group "shelters," and elevated storm shelters, were built by the government on Bhasan Char -- a newly emerged silt island in the Bay of Bengal, 37 miles from the mainland (and over 50 miles from the camps) -- but, again, the Rohingya refused relocation from the camps, citing fears of isolation from society and aid, vulnerability to cyclones (the low island was reported to flood annually, particularly being submerged during storms at high tide), absence of forest and farmland needed for subsistence, and effective imprisonment. Their objections have been continually supported by international human rights organizations and officials and aid organizations, and expert reports on the island and climate.
Crackdown and new restrictions
Following the refugees' mass boycott of the Bangladeshi government's repatriation and relocation efforts, and mass protests, in 2019, top government officials expressed anger at the organized resistance and protests, accused aid agencies of encouraging them, and vowed to take actions to prevent future such resistance.
Among the government's first counter-measures were increases in military presence throughout the camps, to preserve law and order (according to the government) -- though refugees claimed that they were harassed by the troops, who were particularly aggressive towards organizers of the Rohingyas' August 25, 2019 mass rally.
In early September, 2019, the government banned two aid agencies from the camps -- a U.S. agency, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), and a local agency, Al Markazul Islami -- whom it accused of "instigating" the Rohingya to reject the recent repatriation effort. Foreign Minister AK Momen further warned that the United Nations agencies might be kicked out of the country if they did not support the government's island-relocation plans.
In mid-September, 2019, the government began encircling the camps with barbed wire, saying it was to combat "human trafficking" -- though later declaring it was to restrict further expansion of the camps.
Also, in September 2019, the government began asking, then instructing, telecommunications companies to restrict telecommunications access in the camps. By forbidding sale of cell phone SIM cards to Rohingya, and reducing cellular telephone service from 4G and 3G levels -- down to only 2G levels -- internet communications to, from, and within the camps became impractical.
Defending the internet blackout, the government cited "security" concerns, noting criminal activity in the camps -- though refugees, and some of their advocates, complained that the blackout made the refugees more vulnerable to criminals, and potentially unable to call police as a crime was happening. The restrictions have continued, intermittently, until becoming continuous -- over the objections of international human rights and aid organizations.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, dozens of human-rights and aid organizations warned that the communications blackout would limit refugees' timely access to reliable medical information, advice and assistance, and increase confusion, misinformation, paranoia and panic, and aggravate the spread of the virus within the densely populated camps. However the government refused to lift the ban, continuing to cite "safety" and "security" concerns.
In April and May 2020, several different major events happened in the camps, with a cumulative effect that heightened tensions and created new issues in the camps.
- Fires sweeping through sections of the camp, destroying hundreds of shelters.
- COVID-19 arriving in the camps.
- Continued internet and cellphone blackout,limiting communications to, from, and within the camps -- leading to misinformation, paranoia and panic.
- Cyclone Amphan -- threatening to tear through the camps, flooding homes, and destroying shelters, and creating deadly landslides.
- Monsoon fears, as monsoon season approached.
- Bhasan Char island relocation campaign renewed.
May 12, 2020, a fire erupted from a gas-cylinder shop in the camp, and spread throughout hundreds of other shelters, in the biggest fire in the camp to that date. Ten people were injured, and 330 homes and shops were destroyed, with 300 more damaged. Experts and aid workers had, for some time, warned of the danger of such events in the over-crowded refugee camps.
Since the early spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic, in early 2020, experts and aid agencies had been warning that the Rohingya in refugee camps around Cox's Bazar -- particularly in the very crowded Kutupalong camp -- were one of the most vulnerable populations, in the world, to the pandemic, due to overcrowded camps, with poor sanitation and nutrition, and extremely limited communications and healthcare resources. Analysts guiding the U.N. refugee agency calculated that the Cox's Bazar camps' five hospitals, with a combined total of 340 beds, could be overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases in less than two months, and malaria patients may also die as a result. Officials and medical experts warned that COVID-19 deaths in the camps could reach 2,000 or more, and might even exceed the Rohingyas' deaths from the genocide they had fled in Myanmar.
In mid-March, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson in Bangladesh warned that the Rohingya refugees are at greater risk of contracting infectious diseases because they're living in overcrowded settlements and camps (the largest being Kutupalong, with over 600,000 residents). Health experts, aid workers and government officials warned of a lack of social distancing (made impossible by the extreme overcrowding of the camps), and inadequate sanitation and medical resources, compounded by a lack of communications, would make COVID-19 an exceptionally dangerous event in the camps. Communications blackouts stifled access to accurate information, replaced by misinformation (including rumours that the virus was not contagious, and that health workers would kill infected patients), leading to panic in the camps, and the risk that the infected might not seek treatment.
To prevent infection reaching the camps, by late March, 2020, Bangladesh authorities were further restricting movement into and out of the refugee camps, and on April 8, 2020, the Bangladesh government imposed a lockdown throughout the Cox's Bazar district -- banning all travel into and out of the district -- in anticipation of the arrival of COVID-19, which aid agencies feared could quickly overwhelm local medical facilities. Most aid workers (80%) were turned away, leaving only emergency food and medical assistance -- reducing or halting most education and mental-health counselling. People returning from travel abroad were quarantined. Roadblocks, on the main roads into the district, were supplemented by police and military patrols in and around the camps.
COVID-19 first arrived in the camps in May, confirmed in two Rohingya refugees -- and 12 Bangladeshis in the surrounding area -- in tests in mid-May.
Continued internet and cellphone blackout
The Bangladesh government continued the internet communications blackout in the camps, despite warnings from aid agencies, and human rights organizations, that limiting communications to, from, and within the camps would lead result in dangerously inadequate response to outbreaks of COVID-19, and to misinformation, paranoia and panic that could threaten public health. Refugee commissioner Mahbub Alam Talukder asked the government to end the communications blackout in the camps, but the government refused, continuing to allege "safety" and "security" concerns.
In mid-May, Cyclone Amphan developed in the Indian Ocean, and swept up the Bay of Bengal to India and Bangladesh. At its peak, it was the largest cyclone ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal, and its exact point of landfall, and the predicted scope of destruction, was uncertain at first -- heightening fears that it could make landfall close to the Rohingya camps, with devastating consequences.
Volunteers, government and aid agencies shored up fragile hillsides and structures, to resist the impact. As the eye of the storm approached the mainland, red warning flags, were raised at the main Rohingya camps at Cox's Bazar -- escalating storm warnings from level six, to level nine, the most severe warning. However, Amphan tracked towards the eastern edge of India and western Bangladesh, over a hundred miles from the camps. Heavy rains and high winds, from the outer fringes of the storm, did limited damage to the camps.
Despite the relatively mild impact of Cyclone Amphan, fears remained that worse could come to the camps, as climatologists, in a recent major study, noted a steady increase in the frequency and severity Indian Ocean storms over the last few decades. With monsoon season approaching, the concerns became even more heightened, particularly given that prior monsoons had brought floods and landslides to the camps.
Bhasan Char relocation revived
Though the government continued to urge the relocation of refugees from the camp to the island of Bhasan Char, they continued to face opposition from global diplomats, human rights and aid organizations, and the Rohingya refugees, themselves.
However, in March or April, 2020, around 300 Rohingya attempted to flee the mainland camp for Malaysia, by boat, and -- after being turned away by Malaysian authorities -- became stranded at sea. Though they were rescued by the Bangladesh navy, in early May, the government, rather than return them to the mainland camps from which they had come, instead promptly "quarantined" them, involuntarily, on Bhashan Char island -- ostensibly over the risk that the castaways may have been infected with COVID-19.
The same opponents of the Bhasan Char relocation plan urged that the new detainees be returned to their families at the mainland camps as soon as the normal 3-week quarantine period (for COVID-19) was completed. However, Despite pleas from human rights organizations and the U.N. Secretary General, Bangladesh's Foreign Minister later announced that the refugees "probably" would not be returned to the mainland camps, until ready to return to Myanmar.
Concerns among their relatives in the camps, and among Rohingya advocates, escalated when Cyclone Amphan approached Bangladesh, because the island -- which was much closer to the storm than the mainland camps -- was known to be prone to complete flooding in major storms.
However, the center of the cyclone passed at a distance of over 40 miles from the island, so it only dealt a minor blow to the island, and -- according to government reports (no reporters were allowed on the island) -- no lives were lost and the island facilities remained secure.
Government authorities immediately seized on this news to declare that this discredited all safety concerns about Bhasan Char that had been expressed by the international community and the Rohingya refugees, and renewed their campaign to transfer more of the Rohingya refugees from the camps to the island.
Administration and operations
During the early stages of the refugee influx, in every camp, a Camp-in-Charge (CIC) official from the Bangladesh's Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) performed the administrative duties, while the Bangladesh government outsourced responsibilities for recruitment and site management to either the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), or its affiliate organization, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), who led the humanitarian operations, and established a "service map" to guide what services were provided, to and by whom, and where. To fill gaps between the service maps, the agencies responsible for site management provided "referral services" (granting special permissions for movement of Rohingyas), or provided the necessary services, themselves.
Overall coordination of their joint efforts, and those of the various aid and management organizations operating in the camps, were handled by their joint Inter-Sector Coordinating Group (ISCG).
Within the camps, all services for Rohingyas were provided by a mix of local, national and international NGOs (non-governmental organizations), along with Bangladesh's Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), and its Department of Social Services (in the Ministry of Social Welfare (Bangladesh)). District units of all other concerned ministries were also involved in the operations.
According to ISCG, the camps were divided into 16 different sectors, in which the refugees were provided with 11 types of services, including:
- Site management;
- site development,
- water/sanitation/hygiene (WASH);
- food security;
- education (limited);
- child protection;
- protection from gender based violence (GBV);
- communication with community (CwC).
However, in early September, 2019 — following Rohingya resistance to the latest repatriation efforts (which the government blamed largely on aid agencies), and with authorities complaining that aid agencies were more sympathetic to the Rohingya than to the Bangladesh government, and were undermining its repatriation and relocation efforts — the government announced it was beginning to take charge of all administration in the Rohingya camps, also transferring control of humanitarian operations to RRRC. However, an RRRC Additional Commissioner said that the change was requested by the UNHCR, due to declining funds.
Rohingya refugees, particularly activists, have complained of being denied any role in the management of their camps, and of not even being listened to by authorities and aid workers. Rohingya language is a barrier, but so are the inherent behaviors of aid organizations, according to a 2019 study by the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Additionally, the relations between the Rohingya and the aid agencies broke further when the Bangladesh government ordered an end to direct cash payments to refugees -- many of whom, until then, had supplemented their meager resources with cash jobs as "canteer" aid workers for the aid agencies.
In June 2019, researchers with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) released a report, based on an October 2018 survey of 2,100 Rohingya refugees conducted by IFPRI in conjunction with principal aid and development research agencies, reporting that the Rohingya in the camps were "surviving, not thriving."
The researchers found that the refugees' food supply, though "monotonous" (little meat, dairy products, fruit or vegetables), was of above minimal calorie requirements, and was nearly universally accessible -- two thirds of refugees receiving a food parcel consisting of rice, lentils, and nutrient-fortified cooking oil; the other third receiving electronic vouchers that could be used to buy 19 different foods.
However, despite improvements in child nutrition, it found that a third of the children were "chronically undernourished" (and a third of those "acutely" so), owing partly to inadequate nutrition during pregnancy, the "monotonous diets", and inadequate "hygiene conditions in the camps."
Attempts by refugees to earn money, to buy more food, were not very successful, partly because working outside the camps was restricted or forbidden for most, particularly those arriving after August 2017, who were mostly declared "Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals" (FDMNs), denied official "refugee" status.
Rohingya FDMNs who had arrived after August 2017 had a monthly per capita income of US$19 -- and those who arrived earlier, US$22 -- compared to Bangladeshi households in the surrounding community, which were 46% higher ($29). While the FDMN's had about 10% of their income from working inside or outside the camps (the rest from their own business, or "other sources"). Those who had lived in Bangladesh longer, got 70% of their income from food assistance, 19% from working, and 2% from businesses of their own.
While acknowledging that the release of Rohingya into the local workforce would suppress income for local Bangladeshis (unless additional aid was supplied to their community), the researchers assessed that it would improve the Rohingyas' condition.
(However, in December, 2019, the government banned cash aid in the camps, to reduce cash-for-work opportunities -- eliminating a rare source of potential income, particularly for women refugees, who had particularly little economic opportunity.)
In the October 2018 IFPRI survey, children in the camps were not allowed schooling (a situation that authorities have pledged to improve), and no training was available to adults, limiting their future prospects.
The researchers warned that the conditions, if not improved, could turn the camps into sites of "hopelessness, anger or even violence" -- a concern echoed by human rights advocates, and Rohingya refugees, themselves.
Population table by camp
As of April 30, 2020
|Camp 4 Ext||6,691|
|Camp 20 Ext||7,732|
|Kutupalong RC &
- "ROHINGYA REFUGEE RESPONSE BANGLADESH Refugee Population by Location". UNHCR. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
- Sengupta, Somini and Henry Fountain: "The Biggest Refugee Camp Braces for Rain: 'This Is Going to Be a Catastrophe'; More than half a million Rohingya refugees face looming disaster from floods and landslides...," March 14, 2018, New York Times, retrieved May 26, 2020
- The 2010 – 2020 UN News Decade in Review, part three, December 27, 2019, UN News, United Nations, retrieved May 26, 2020
- "Coronavirus: Two Rohingya test positive in refugee camp. Two Rohingya refugees have tested positive for coronavirus in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh, officials say." May 14, 2020, BBC News, retrieved May 26, 2020
- "The young and the hopeless in Bangladesh's camps". UNHCR. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- "Rohingya huddled in Bangladesh camps fear plan to move them on". Reuters. 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- "Stories from the Rohingya Camps in Bangladesh". 5 September 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- Marra, Tatiana. "Diary book - 12 May 2014 - Our work at the Refugee camps near Coxs bazaar". Ikea foundation blog. Ikea foundation. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- "Vital UNHCR aid arrives in Cox's Bazar, additional emergency staff deployed". UNHCR USA website. UNHCR. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- Palma, Porimol and Mohammad Ali Jinnat, "From land of death, despair: Elderly Rohingyas say they never witnessed violence of this scale," September 09, 2017 (last modified September 13, 2017), The Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved May 22, 2020
- "Cox's Bazar: Kutupalong-Balukhali expansion sites Footpath and Access road as of 05 Dec 2017" (PDF). International Organization for Migration. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Bangladesh: Rohingya refugees moved from Kutupalong camp to new site". UNHCR. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- "Workign at the Rohingya camp". Blog - IKEA Foundation. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- "Shelter urgently needed for Rohingya fleeing Myanmar violence". UNHCR. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Burma: Rohingya children 'beheaded and burned alive' as refugees continue to flood into Bangladesh to escape violence," September 2, 2017, The Independent retrieved September, 2017
- "Thousands of Rohingya Muslims Stream into Bangladesh Fleeing Violence in Myanmar," (video), September 8, 2017, NBC News retrieved September, 2017
- "UN: 'Alarming number' of 270,000 Rohingya in Myanmar exodus,", Associated Press in USA Today, retrieved September, 2017
- "Bangladesh to build one of world's largest refugee camps for 800,000 Rohingya," October 5, 2017, The Guardian, retrieved September, 2017
- Judah, Jacob (15 September 2017). "Rohingya influx strains camp resources in Bangladesh". UNHCR. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- "Kites, Prayers, A Snake Show: Reporting From The Rohingya Camps; Finding The Human Stories In The World's Largest Refugee Camp," February 18, 2018, National Public Radio, retrieved September, 2018
- "Monsoon rains highlight needs of Rohingya refugees: UN and World Bank chiefs head to Bangladesh to seek support for nearly a million Rohingya refugees facing ongoing displacement from Myanmar," July 1, 2018, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), retrieved September, 2018
- "A Million Refugees May Soon Lose Their Line to the Outside World," September 5, 2019, New York Times, retrieved September, 2019
- "Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh on 'precarious ground' ahead of monsoon season," April 21, 2018, CBC News (Canada), retrieved April, 2018
- "Flame fades for Rohingya families amid mud and monsoons in Bangladesh," August 6, 2018, The Guardian, retrieved August, 2018
- Cox's Bazaar District Landslide Hazard - Susceptibility Model, Version 1_02019-06-17, June 17, 2019, REACH Initiative, Inter-Sector Coordinating Group (ISCG) on ReliefWeb.int (map of landslide risk areas at Rohingya refugee camps), retrieved June, 2019
- "Bangladesh: Rohingya Endure Floods, Landslides; Refugees Awaiting Future Return to Myanmar Need Safer Camps," August 5, 2018, Human Rights Watch, retrieved August, 2018
- Kutupalong refugee camp, home to more than 600,000 Rohingya, faces daily challenges
- "Rohingya Settlements: 8,000 acres of forests razed; Expert team of forest ministry estimates Tk 2,420cr environmental loss," October 18, 2019, Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved May 24, 2020
- "Rohingyas rally for elephants: Int'l Day for Biological Diversity observed in Kutupalong camp," May 23, 2018, Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved May 25, 2020
- Beaubien, Jason (April 17, 2019). "U.N. Sets Up Elephant Response Team in Rohingya Refugee Camp: Why Elephants Pose A Threat To Rohingya Refugees". NPR News. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
- Dorosh, Paul (Dir., Development Strategy & Governance Div., International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)); John Hoddinott (nonresident fellow, IFPRI); and H.E. Babcock, Prof. of Food & Nutrition Economics & Policy, Cornell University. "The Rohingya in Bangladesh are surviving – but their long-term prospects are grim," June 25, 2019, London Daily Telegraph, retrieved June, 2019
- "Bangladesh sees meth boom amid Rohingya crisis," March 20, 2018, Agence France-Presse in Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh),retrieved April, 2018
- Sheikh Hasina says Rohingya crisis may disrupt stability; Rohingya crisis may disrupt security: PM. Warns Bangladesh’s stability may be at stake if the refugees are not repatriated soon," June 27, 2019, Daily Star (Bangladesh)
- "The Rohingya children trafficked for sex," March 20, 2018, BBC News retrieved March 2018
- "Bangladesh should end restrictions on movement of Rohingya refugees: - Human Rights Watch," September 7, 2019, Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved September, 2019
- "Burma and Bangladesh agree to return hundreds of thousands of Rohingya within two years, despite warnings over camps" January 16, 2018, London Daily Telegraph, retrieved January, 2019
- "Bangladesh Struggles To Cope With Pressures Of Hosting 1 Million Rohingya Refugees" April 15, 2019, National Public Radio, retrieved April, 2019
- "Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh protest repatriation move," January 19, 2018, Times of India, retrieved January 2018
- "Rohingya refugees say they would choose death over repatriation to Myanmar; Nearly all Rohingyas fear for their safety, and do not trust how they will be treated by authorities in Myanmar, if they were to return." November 29, 2018, ABC News retrieved December, 2018
- "Rohingyas not to return without security, citizenship: -ISCG" December 3, 2018, United News of Bangladesh (same topic in official ISCG report: "ISCG Situation Report (Data Summary): Rohingya Crisis - Cox's Bazar 29 November 2018 (covering 13- 26 November)," retrieved December, 2018
- "UN chief and rights groups raise concerns over Rohingya deal," January 17, 2018, The Guardian, retrieved January, 2019
- "Bangladesh: Returning Rohingya to Myanmar illegal and premature" January 16, 2018, Amnesty International, retrieved January, 2019
- "UN official says not safe yet for Rohingya return to Myanmar," January 25, 2018, Associated Press in U.S. News & World Report (same topic at "Conditions in Myanmar not yet suitable for Rohingya refugees to return safely: UN agency," January 23, 2018, United Nations News Centre), retrieved January, 2019
- Bangladesh PM attacks Myanmar over Rohingya deadlock," June 10, 2019, Agence France-Presse in Channel NewsAsia (Singapore), retrieved June, 2019
- "Rohingyas want dialogue with Myanmar first, repatriation later. Without the dialogue, and unless (Myanmar's government in) Naypyidaw meets their demands, the Rohingyas will never opt for repatriation," August 25, 2019, Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh), retrieved August, 2019
- "Tens of Thousands of Rohingya Mark 'Genocide Day' Amid Tensions in Bangladesh Camps," August 25, 2019, Reuters News Service in U.S. News & World Report, retrieved May 25, 2020
- "Rallies mark two years of exile in Bangladesh.", August 25, 2019, BBC News (same topic at New York Times and Daily Star (Bangladesh)), retrieved August, 2019
- "Foreign minister: Government to take steps to handle future Rohingya rallies," August 26, 2019, United News of Bangaldesh in Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh), retrieved August, 2019
- "[Bangladesh Govt probing Aug 25 Rohingya rally, roles of NGOs. 3-member team asked to submit report within 7 working days,"] September 1, 2019, Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh), retrieved September, 2019
- Thomas, Elise: "The 'floating' island that has refugees terrified: A disappearing island, cyclone season and 100,000 Rohingya refugees with nowhere else to go. What could go wrong?" April 11, 2019, ABC News, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- "Rohingya Refugees Reject Bangladesh Plan to Move Them to a Remote Island," July 27, 2018, Voice of America, retrieved July, 2018
- "Human rights group opposes moving Rohingya to island camp," August 6, 2018, Associated Press on ABC News (same topic at: Relocating Rohingya Refugees to a Flood-Prone Island is a Dangerous Idea", August 6, 2018, Washington Post), retrieved August, 2018
- "UN envoy fears 'new crisis' for Rohingya Muslims if moved to remote Bangladesh island," March 12, 2019, ABC News, Australian Broadcasting Corporationretrieved March, 2019
- "Support Rohingya island relocation or leave the country: - Bangladesh to UN," September 5, 2019, Deutsche Welle (Germany) in Daily Star (Bangladesh), (also: Deutsche Welle, with video of the island) retrieved September, 2019
- "Bangladesh bans two aid agencies from Rohingya refugee camps," September 5, 2019, Agence France-Presse in Channel NewsAsia (Singapore) (same topic in "Bangladesh bans two INGOs for financing, running anti-repatriation campaign among Rohingyas,", September 4, 2019, Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh)), retrieved September, 2019
- [https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/rohingya-crisis/2019/09/13/govt-turns-to-barbed-wire-fencing-to-combat-human-trafficking-from-rohingya-camps "Govt turns to barbed-wire fencing to combat human trafficking from Rohingya camps," September 13, 2019 Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh), retrieved September, 2019
- "Bangladeshi leader at UN: Rohingya refugee crisis worsening," [warns of emerging 'regional threat'; calls for international involvement], September 28, 2019, Associated Press, retrieved September, 2019
- "Bangladesh Blocks Internet Services in Rohingya Refugee Camps," Reuters News Service in New York Times (same topic at: "No Bangladeshi SIM card for Rohingyas," September 3, 2019 (updated Sept. 10), Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved September, 2019
- "UN human rights office calls for compassion following Rohingya deaths at sea," April 17, 2020, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations retrieved May 24, 2020
- "Bangladesh Internet Ban Risks Rohingya Lives," March 26, 2020, Human Rights Watch, retrieved May 24, 2020
- "Bangladesh: Joint Letter on COVID19 and Communication Restrictions in the Rohingya Camps," April 2, 2020, Index number: ASA 13/2083/2020, Amnesty International with 49 other aid and rights organizations, (full text: "Re: Restrictions on Communication, Fencing, and COVID-19 in Cox’s Bazar District Rohingya Refugee Camps")
- "Bhasan Char unaffected in Amphan; FM questions aid agencies' opposition. Reminds international community of Rohingya issue's global dimension," May 22, 2020 United News of Bangladesh (UNB), retrieved May, 2020
- Ali, Mayyu, "The world’s largest refugee settlement is in the crosshairs of a cyclone and a pandemic," May 21, 2020 Washington Post, retrieved May 25, 2020
- "Fire destroys hundreds of Rohingya shanties in Bangladesh camp," May 13, 2020, Agence France-Presse in Channel NewsAsia, retrieved May 26, 2020
- "COVID-19 and Conflict: Seven Trends to Watch: Deadly and disruptive as it already is, and terribly as it could yet worsen and spread, the 2020 coronavirus outbreak could also have political effects that last long after the contagion is contained. Crisis Group identifies seven points of particular concern," in Special Briefing No. 4 / The Covid-19 Pandemic and Deadly Conflict, March 24, 2020, Crisis Group, retrieved May 26, 2020
- Truelove et al.: "'The potential impact of COVID-19 in refugee camps in Bangladesh and beyond: A modeling study," June 16, 2020, PlosMed (scientific journal), retrieved Aug 1, 2020.
- "Inclusive approach a must to contain coronavirus in Rohingya camps: ISCG," March 29, 2020, New Age (Bangladesh), retrieved May 26, 2020
- Subbaraman, Nidhi: "'Distancing is impossible': refugee camps race to avert coronavirus catastrophe. From Bangladesh to Somalia, researchers and aid workers are taking different steps to protect people among the most vulnerable to the pandemic," April 24, 2020, Nature (scientific journal), retrieved May 26, 2020.
- "Rohingya refugees at high risk of coronavirus," March 19, 2020, Daily Star (Bangaldesh), in Straits Times (Singapore), retrieved May 26, 2020
- "Coronavirus panic grips Rohingya camps in Bangladesh," March 26, 2020, Agence France-Presse in Straits Times (Singapore), retrieved May 26, 2020
- "Coronavirus: Bangladesh locks down a million in Rohingya camps," April 9, 2020, BBC News, retrieved May 26, 2020
- "Rohingya camps closed off," April 11, 2020, The Star (Malaysia) retrieved May 26, 2020.
- "First cases of Covid-19 detected in the Rohingya community, two confirmed positive," May 14, 2020, Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved May 26, 2020
- "Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones are becoming stronger, according to a new NOAA study," May 18, 2020, Cable News Network (CNN), retrieved May 23, 2020
- "50 cyclone shelters ready in Cox's Bazar: IOM," May 20, 2020, United News of Bangladesh in Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved May 24, 2020
- "Bangladesh moves Rohingya [quarantined on Bhashan Char to island shelters as huge cyclone nears,"] Reuters News Service
- "Cyclone Amphan Devastates Parts of Bangladesh, West Bengal," May 21, 2020, Benar News, retrieved May 25, 2020
- "India and Bangladesh are already suffering with coronavirus. Now a super cyclone is heading their way," May 18, 2020, CNN (Cable News Network), retrieved May 23, 2020
- Rohingya refugees arrive at 'de facto detention island' in Bangladesh; Rights groups decry relocation of people picked up at sea after fleeing camps in Cox’s Bazar," May 8, 2020, The Guardian, retrieved May 26, 2020
- "280 Rohingyas rescued from Bay of Bengal, moved to Bhashan Char," May 8, 2020, Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved May 26, 2020
- Move Rohingya (boat people) (from) Bangladesh island to refugee camps: UN chief," Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved May 25, 2020
- "Bhasan Char unaffected in Amphan; FM questions aid agencies' opposition. Reminds international community of Rohingya issue's global dimension," May 22, 2020, United News of Bangladesh (UNB), retrieved May 26, 2020
- "'Bhasan Char among safest places to relocate Rohingyas': Enam says (Bangladesh) government to talk to UN bodies, to shift them from Cox’s Bazar," May 23, 2020, The Independent (Bangladesh), retrieved May 26, 2020
- "Rohingya crisis: Govt to take over all administrative duties in camps. UNHCR, along with IOM, is helping RRRC to ensure humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas in 34 camps," September 6, 2019, Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh), retrieved September, 2019
- Stop ignoring us Rohingya refugees demand role in running camps," February 5, 2020, The Guardian retrieved May 25, 2020
- Dorosh, Paul (Dir., Development Strategy & Governance Div., International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)); John Hoddinott (nonresident fellow, IFPRI); and H.E. Babcock, Prof. of Food & Nutrition Economics & Policy, Cornell University: "The Rohingya in Bangladesh are surviving – but their long-term prospects are grim," June 25, 2019, London Daily Telegraph, retrieved June, 2019
- "Cash ban stokes worry among Rohingya volunteers; 'Women are already not getting enough opportunities. It makes it very hard for them to earn a living,'" December 17, 2019, The New Humanitarian, retrieved December, 2019
- "Bangladesh to Improve Schools for Rohingya Refugee Children," January 29, 2020, Associated Press in New York Times, retrieved January, 2020.
- Hammadi, Saad (Regional Campaigner for South Asia at Amnesty International)"International Day of Education: A 'lost generation' of Rohingya will have nowhere to go: As the International Court of Justice orders Myanmar to take urgent measures to protect the Rohingya, Amnesty International takes a look at what's at stake for the Rohingya children stranded in Bangladesh,", January 29, 2020, Daily Star (Bangladesh), retrieved January, 2020
- Joint Government of Bangladesh - Population breakdown as of 30 April 2020