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Accepted paper:

The Rohingya crisis and global responsibility: toward an alternative humanitarianism


Muhammad Ala Uddin (University of Chittagong )

Paper short abstract:

Aimed at moral insights into the Rohingya crisis, this paper sheds light on aid, actions and accomplishment of the global community and humanitarian aid organizations in managing the protracted refugee situation in Bangladesh.

Paper long abstract:

Since August 2017, over 700,000 Rohingya have crossed the border into Bangladesh, joining another half million that made similar journeys in the past, in order to escape persecution in Myanmar. As a result of decade-long persecutions in Myanmar's Rakhine state, currently, over one million Rohingya live in the squalid camps in Cox's Bazar of Bangladesh. Despite their sufferings and restricted lives in the confined camps, the forced-migrant Rohingya prefer to stay in Bangladesh, and survive mainly on humanitarian aids. In response to the recent influx of the Rohingya, NGO influx has also ensued in Cox's Bazar. Thanks to the aid organizations, they have been providing the Rohingya refugees with life-saving supports (e.g. foods, clothes, medicine and the like). As a by-product, the crisis and the humanitarian aid have brought a host of events and activities in and around the campsites in Cox's Bazar. Based on primary fieldwork, this paper intends to sheds light on the multifaceted dimensions engendered from the Rohingya crisis. It also explores the potential role of anthropologists toward the humanitarian crisis. The study findings argue that the needs and social dynamics of the distressed Rohingya (endogenous) were not assessed emically, while assisted from the 'essential' point of views (exogenous). Eventually, in spite of enormous supports, the Rohingya continue to live in the deplorable conditions in the camps. Therefore, the paper urges the concerned bodies and organizations for culturally appropriate assistance to make a real contribution to the Rohingya crisis in line with their traditional lifeways.

panel AA08
Trajectories of refuge: protracted displacement and humanitarian responses