Bhashan Char Island

The Bhashan Char Island is a remote uninhabited island of Bangladesh, located in the Bay of Bengal. It is also known as Char Piya.

Key Points

  • The island, which spans an area of 40 square kilometers, is believed to have formed only in 2006, by Himalayan silt.
  • The Bangladesh government has made shelter homes for 100,000 Rohingya refugees on the island.
  • The Bangladeshi government first suggested relocating Rohingyas to the Bhasahan Char Island in the year 2005. However, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) termed it a logistically challenging plan. Human Rights Watch also opposed the plan calling it a disaster.
  • But, the Bangladesh government expanded its housing project “Ashrayan” for the construction of shelter homes at the Bhashan Char Island in August 2019.

Bangladesh starts relocation of Rohingyas to Bhashan Char Island

  • The Bangladesh Government has started the relocation of Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char Island, which is located 60 kilometers from the mainland.
  • Thousands of Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar refugee camp are being shifted to the newly developed facility on the island.
  • The Refugees were transported to Chattogram port from the Ukhiya Degree College campus in Cox’s Bazar to be finally shifted to the island.
  • Humanitarians oppose this move fearing poor liveable conditions in the new island and demand for independent assessment by the United Nations.
  • Environmentalists warn that the island is ecologically fragile are prone to floods and cyclones.
  • Before this also, 306 Rohingyas were taken to the Island in April 2020.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

It is the UN Agency working for the rights of refugees. The agency provides assistance and aid to refugees and stateless people for their resettlement. Formed in the year 1950, it is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

It is a non-governmental international organization that conducts research on human rights and also advocates it. The organization was formed in the year 1948 and is headquartered in New York, US.

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