GENEVA / ROHINGYA ID CARD

09-Aug-2019 00:01:51
More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Myanmar in 2017 have received identification cards that the UN insisted today were critical to safeguarding their right to return home. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / ROHINGYA ID CARD
TRT: 1:51
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 09 AUGUST 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior wide shot, Palais des Nations, flag alley
2. Wide shot, UNOG, Press room 3, journalists listening at press conference, podium with Andrej Mahecic (UNHCR spokesperson) and Alessandra Vellucci (Geneva UNIS Director)
3. SOUNDBITE (English)Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR spokesperson:
“The point here is first and foremost to protect and safeguard the right of these people to return to the places they came from.”
4. Wide shot, Press room 3, podium with Andrej Mahecic (UNHCR spokesperson) and Alessandra Vellucci (Geneva UNIS Director)
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR spokesperson:
“There are a number of agreements that have been signed both bilaterally and trilaterally in relation to the potential registration, sorry, potential repatriation. We have made clear all along, that any repatriation needs to be voluntary and it needs to be in line with the international standards.”
6. Med shot, three female journalists taking notes at press conference. One is taking pictures with her cell phone
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR spokesperson:
“These cards are basically their registration. They regulate their stay in Bangladesh. People will need to have obviously a pathway to citizenship, and a different set of identification if and when they return.”
8. Wide shot, Press room 3, journalists listening to press briefing and taking notes
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR Spokesperson:
“Most of these people are stateless and most of these people have not had any form of identification document, so for the vast majority of the Rohingya refugees, this is the first ID, a first proof of identity that they have.”
10. Close up, laptop, hands, microphone with the UN logo on it, earphone laying on table.
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR spokesperson:
“An estimated 900,000 Rohingya refugees live in crowded settlements in Cox’s Bazar. Over 740,000 of them are estimated to have fled Myanmar since August 2017.”
12. Various shots, journalists
STORYLINE
More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Myanmar in 2017 have received identification cards that the UN insisted today were critical to safeguarding their right to return home.

Issued to all refugees over the age of twelve in camps in southern Bangladesh, the biometric, fraud-proof card is for many the first time that they have owned an official document that proves their identity.

UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told journalists in Geneva that “most of these people are stateless and most of these people have not had any form of identification document, so for the vast majority of the Rohingya refugees, this is the first ID, a first proof of identity that they have.”

An estimated 900,000 Rohingya refugees live in crowded settlements in Cox’s Bazar, according to UNHCR, which is working with the Bangladeshi authorities to complete the operation.

More than 740,000 of those in camps fled from neighbouring Myanmar in the last two years amid State-led violence described as ethnic cleansing, by the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Mahecic said, “the point here is first and foremost to protect and safeguard the right of these people to return to the places they came from.”

The development comes amid ongoing reports of violence between State forces and ethnic separatists in Myanmar and concerns by UN-appointed rights experts and agencies that conditions are not suitable for the safe return of refugees in place such as Rakhine state.

Mahecic said, “there are a number of agreements that have been signed both bilaterally and trilaterally in relation to the potential registration, sorry, potential repatriation,” in reference to accords signed between the UN, Myanmar and Bangladesh whose aim is to create conditions that are suitable for the return of ethnic Rohingya to Rakhine.

He added, “we have made clear all along, that any repatriation needs to be voluntary and it needs to be in line with the international standards.”

On average, 5,000 refugees are registered daily at seven different sites in Cox’s Bazar.

More than 550 local staff have been recruited, UNHCR said, with the goal of completing the registration process during the last quarter of 2019.

Although the identity cards carry unique biometric data that includes fingerprints and iris scans, Mahecic stressed that they were not citizenship documents for Myanmar.

He said, “these cards are basically their registration,” adding that “they regulate their stay in Bangladesh. People will need to have obviously a pathway to citizenship, and a different set of identification if and when they return (to Myanmar).”
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