The Monthly Essays – August 2015
Three years. That’s how long the United Nations thought it would take to solve the world’s refugee problem. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees began with this tiny mandate in 1950. It would simply mop up the remaining stragglers from World War Two, then the commissioner could go home.
Sixty-five years later, a job that was expected to become unnecessary is now impossible.
[The persecution of the Rohingya] is total. Rohingya cannot freely work, marry, travel, move, have children, go to school, farm, own land, own houses, eat, shop, or worship. They are taxed arbitrarily – levies on “animal slaughter” extend even to pets dying of natural causes. Their homes and businesses have been destroyed, and they have been herded into camps where almost all humanitarian organisations are banned.
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