The case of the Rohingyas & looking beyond non-refoulement : the unfeasibility of a new repatriation wave from Bangladesh (back) to Myanmar
Silva, Bethânia : Godinho Pereira da
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The Rohingya Refugee crisis is not a new one. The plight of the Rohingyas was an issue that emerged since the British colonialization era of the Asian region. Constant marginalization has put the Rohingya minority through decades of perpetual upheaval without a promising solution. Previously, there have been two forced (and unsuccessful) repatriation attempts of the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh (back) to Myanmar, one in 1979, and another in 1991. However, both the Governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh seem to ignore past failures. In October 2018, due to another massive influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing into Bangladesh, following the 2017 attacks in Rakhine State, both Governments agreed - yet again - to repatriate the Rohingyas (back) to Myanmar. This attempt was fortunately delayed in November 2018 due to safety conditions and security concerns. The goal of this thesis was to make the case as to why a third repatriation wave should not happen through a socio-legal analysis on the issue. This thesis identified factors that will make the upcoming repatriation process unfeasible and made the unfeasibility argument through doctrinal analysis of international customary law, namely, the principle of non-refoulement, and through establishing the duty which Bangladesh and the international community have in protecting the Rohingyas, based on R2P (Responsibility to Protect). Additionally, this thesis considered social and political factors that play a pertinent role in the process of repatriation in order to establish the case and strengthen the unfeasibility argument as to why a third repatriation wave should not happen. It is only with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary understanding of the situation that a solution can be reached. Otherwise, the Rohingya crisis remains a ticking time bomb.