Recently more than six hundred thousand Rohingya people fled to Bangladesh after the heinous ethnic cleansing carried out by the Myanmar army of the Rakhine state. The Bangladesh government decided to use biometrics to keep up with the refugees and now over 512,000 people have their biometrics registered.
The reaction of the Rohingya refugees has been mixed. Some are willing to complete the process and comply with the Bangladesh government while some are hesitant and fear the possibility of being sent back to Myanmar.
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The registration process is done primarily via seventy booths and seven biometric registration centers in the Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazilas of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. It was a long procedure which started back on September 12, 2017 and took several weeks to complete.
The Press Information Department (PID) said that Rohingya people are still coming to Bangladesh however the pace has slowed down. In spite of the extremely risky and dangerous path, people will put themselves in danger to come to Bangladesh.
Though the registration process takes a long time, the head of the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) hopeful that the registration process of Rohingya people will be completed this year.
DIP Director General Maj Gen Md Masud Rezwan said, “At this speed, all the refugees could be registered in a month”
“The registration will also help Bangladesh repatriate the displaced Rohingyas back to Myanmar.”
Squadron leader Md Arefin Ahmed, DIP’s Technical Engineer said that the biometric registration system will help them to identify the Rohingya people so that they cannot attempt to get a national ID card of Bangladesh.
The biometric company who providing the technology is hopeful that this system will help to accelerate the repatriation process of the refugees correctly. The deputy general manager said that,
“The expectation has been raised with the example of how Germany registered the Syrian refugees to ensure each one is identified while performing any activity within Germany,”
Local sources said that a good amount of refugees are interested in completing their biometric registration to ensure relief facilities from local and international donors. On the other hand a lot of Rohingyas, especially those who have been residing in Bangladesh for many years and enjoying the facilities, but denied permission to capture their biometric traits in fear of return to their homeland.
As more Rohingya refugees come into Bangladesh, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has estimated that the overall Rohingya population will rise to over 1 million and the humanitarian crisis will continue to worsen.