Rohingyas elect female camp leaders
Recently arrived Rohingyas living in the Shalbagan-Nayapara settlement in the district, for the first time, have selected their own Camp Committee, led by women.
The election in Shalbagan camp is a pilot project under the community governance process, an initiative taken by the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR in partnership with ADRA and Bangladeshi local authorities. Unb.
Rohingyas living in Shalbagan chose their own Camp Committee consisting of a chief, a deputy, an assistant, a general member and 12 block representatives.
The elected camp leader, deputy leader and half of all block representatives are female.
“This is a remarkable achievement. Rohingya refugees in Shalbagan have spoken and decided they want fifty per cent of their representatives to be women. They should be congratulated on this,” said Bernadette Castel-Hollingsworth, UNHCR’s Senior Protection Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.
This is the first time elections for camp leaders have been rolled out to ensure community representation in areas where recently-arrived Rohingya refugees, who fled violence in Myanmar, are living.
“This election marks a transition to a more democratic form of representation,” said Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Abdul Kalam.
“Through the election, the voices of people will have a firmer ground to communicate gaps in services and their needs,” he said.
The camp committee selection process at Shalbagan began seven weeks ago with refugees nominating 20 candidates who were then screened against eligibility criteria.
The newly-elected refugee committee began work this week, starting with capacity-building plans supported by UNHCR, humanitarian partners and local authorities.
As part of the Community Governance Process, Camp Committee elections are intended to be rolled out across other refugee sites in the coming months.