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SENATOR SINGH VISITS ROHINGYAN REFUGEE SETTLEMENTS IN BANGLADESH - Media Release, 22 January 2018

Today Senator Lisa Singh will travel to Bangladesh to visit refugee settlements housing some of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyans who have fled across the border from recent violence and ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.

Senator Singh is travelling as part of a UNICEF delegation with National Party MP Andrew Broad. The Senator and Mr Broad are the co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of UNICEF group. 

They will spend three days investigating conditions in the refugee settlements and talking with the stakeholders and humanitarian organisations who are working to assist Rohingyan refugees and Bangladeshi authorities.

‘I hope to gain a better understanding of the current response to this crisis, and to discuss with people on the ground what else is needed to avoid a catastrophic outbreak of diseases,’ said Senator Singh.

‘An estimated 655,500 refugees have arrived from Myanmar since 25 August 2017. And 380,190 of these are children.

‘When they arrive across the border, they are physically weak, they suffer from terrible trauma and they live in precarious conditions.

‘The upcoming cyclone and monsoon season represents an additional risk factor for children living in overcrowded camps. They already lack safe water, basic sanitation and hygiene conditions.

‘It is important Australia makes a meaningful contribution to this humanitarian crisis. But that is hindered by the drastic cuts the Abbott/Turnbull governments have made to our development budget.

‘There have been gross human rights abuses in Myanmar in recent months. The most important thing is that the violence ends’, Senator Singh said.

Senator Singh has been a longstanding advocate on refugee issues, women’s empowerment, human rights, and aid and development.

TUESDAY, 23 JANUARY 2018

MEDIA CONTACT:  TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS 0429 820 344