Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP)

Research Trip held in Rohingya Camps by Law Batch 1

image description

Dhaka, 28 April 2019: The Department of Law, Faculty of Security and Strategic Studies (FSSS), Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) conducted a research field visit to the Rohingya Camps, Ukhyia, Cox’s Bazar from 25 April 2019 to 28 April 2019. Md. Abu Bakar Siddique and Emraan Azad, both Lecturers at the Department of Law, designed, planned, guided and coordinated the research trip as part of their respective courses, i.e. Public International Law and Environmental Law of Bangladesh. Chairman of the Department, Lt Col Siraj Uddin Ahmed, psc (retd) and Lecturer Tashmia Sabera accompanied the research team during the whole period of field visit. This research trip is concerned about human and environmental security which is at stake due to the present Rohingya crisis. The objectives of the research field visit were to find out multi-layered cross-cutting implications of the Rohingya exodus on the human and natural environment of Bangladesh from both national and international legal framework. The students collected direct data and interview different stakeholders (e.g. Rohingyas, locals, NGOs and INGOs officials).

A total of 70 students from Law Batch 1 participated in the research trip. All the students were divided into 24 groups and each three groups were assigned with different themes under Public International Law and Environmental Law of Bangladesh. The students collected data and interviewed the respondents under eights different themes. The themes are: (a) Human trafficking and the role of stakeholders; (b) Rights to health: Issues and concerns; (c) Women and children rights protection scenario; (d) Rehabilitation and repartition of the Rohingyas: Challenges and ways forward; (e) Conservation of environment and its cleanliness by the Rohinygas; (f) Rohingya community’s preparation and resilience to tackle environmental calamities/disasters; (g) Empowerment of Rohingya community through their participation in IUCN work; and (h) Environmental justice (right to safe and clean environment) and environment education for the Rohingyas.

At the first day of the trip, the teams visited Balukhali 11 Camp at Ukhiya and collected testimonies based on their prepared questionnaires on the specific themes. They also visited concerned NGO and INGO offices and gathered information. During the collection of information, they strictly maintained the ethical considerations of interview (e.g. taking consent before interviewing respondents) and were accompanied with local interpreters. In the evening, an interactive meeting took place with the local INGOs in Cox’s Bazar. The officials from Action Against Hunger (ACF) and Swiss Red Cross participated in the meeting, shared their experiences of work in the camps and replied to the questions raised by the students. After dinner, the students were tasked to prepare their presentation on key findings based on the first day field visit experience.

Next day, the teams visited Kutupalong 1 and 4 Camps and were sent to different directions to collect data. From the morning to afternoon, the teams explored the whole camp area, interacted with the Rohingya community and visited local NGO-INGO offices. From the evening the final presentations by the groups started. The presentation contained major findings from the visits and analysis of data gathered from the respondents. All the information and data and other research materials were observed and scrutinised by the concerned supervisors, Md. Abu Bakar Siddique and Emraan Azad. The students received critical feedback and observations on their presentations and were guided for the improvement. This rigorous work continued till the midnight. The surprises planned by the respected teachers were yet to come after the tiring work. All the students along with the teachers went to the sea beach and enjoyed blowing up lanterns in the sky.

In the last and final day of the trip, the students visited offices of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). There they got the chance to interact with the officials in order to collect necessary research resources and statistical data. With this, the three-day research field trip came to an end.

This research is a long-term project planned and initiated by Lecturer Md. Abu Bakar Siddique and Lecturer Emraan Azad. Next year, an edited book containing thematic chapters on major findings of the field trip will be published on behalf of the Department of Law, BUP. As of now, this is the first ever research initiative taken by the young faculty members of the Department of Law, BUP.