The Rohingya refugee crisis refers to the mass migration of thousands of Rohingya people from Myanmar. The Rohingya people are a Muslim minority group residing in the Rakhine state, formerly known as Arakan. They are considered “stateless entities”, as the Myanmar government has been refusing to recognize them as one of the ethnic groups of the country. They lack legal protection from the Government of Myanmar, are regarded as mere refugees from Bangladesh, and face strong hostility in the country. For shelter and protection, the Rohingya try to illegally enter Southeast Asian states.
A UN report from February, based on interviews with some of the Rohingya refugees, said Myanmar’s security forces have committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya in a campaign that “very likely” amount to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.
Myanmar’s authorities have progressively denied the Rohingya rights and, along with vigilantes sometimes led by Buddhist monks, persecuted them, driving them from their homes and into neighboring countries, mostly Bangladesh. In 1982, the government stripped the Rohingya of citizenship. In the name of bringing order to Rakhine, the army launched an operation in 1991 featuring forced labor, rape, and religious suppression.
The Rohingya face numerous legal restrictions. Couples need government permission to marry and to travel beyond their hometown or move to a new one. Those in two of Rakhine’s cities are limited to having two children.
The Indian government is concerned over Rohingyas’ stay in India for security regions. In its affidavit to the Supreme Court, the government said that some of the Rohingyas with militant background were found to be very active in Jammu, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mewat. They have been identified as having a very serious and potential threat to the internal and national security of India, the Centre told the Supreme Court. In the absence of a law to deal with refugees, their identification and surveillance will become difficult.