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Human Rights Watch calls for an investigation into UN collection of Rohingya Data

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) set up several Bangladeshi camps where a lot of Rohingya refugees have been registered. The Bangladesh government undertook a joint registration exercise with the UNHCR to issue the refugees identity cards they use to access essential aid and services. Information such as the refugees’ analog photographs, thumbprint images, and other biographic data is said to be shared with the Myanmar government by the UN as alleged by HRW.

Socio Legal Corp

An investigation was called on the UN on Tuesday by the Human Rights Wing for improper collection of data and sharing of personal information from the Rohingya refugees with Bangladesh, which in turn shred the information with their country of origin, i.e. Myanmar.

The UN is required to conduct a full data impact assessment as per its policies which it allegedly failed to conduct. It is also being accused of failing to obtain the consent of the refugees before sharing their information with Myanmar.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) set up several Bangladeshi camps where a lot of Rohingya refugees have been registered. The Bangladesh government undertook a joint registration exercise with the UNHCR to issue the refugees identity cards they use to access essential aid and services. Information such as the refugees’ analog photographs, thumbprint images, and other biographic data is said to be shared with the Myanmar government by the UN as alleged by HRW.

HRW also said that the refugees had neither consented to nor did they understand the consequences their information being shared with the Myanmar government.

Even on being sent a report by HRW to UNHCR, they denied any wrongdoings or policy violations. The Agency claimed that the aim of the data collecting was looking into a durable solution for the refugee problem as well as ensuring that no more Rohingya would suffer.

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