Rohingya refugee influx and instability nexus: a case study of Bangladesh

Author: Shovan Chakma

Chakma, Shovan, 2019 Rohingya refugee influx and instability nexus: a case study of Bangladesh, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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Being denied basic human rights and citizenship in Myanmar, Rohingyas are the largest single stateless ethnic group in the world. In the 1970s the Rohingya started crossing the border to seek refuge in Bangladesh due to state persecution in Myanmar. But the recent 2017 influx has broken all previous records in terms of refugees moving within a short period of time. Within three to four months almost 800,000 Rohingya refugees crossed the border to seek refuge in Bangladesh. As a developing country, Bangladesh already has many problems. The recent large influx is now a major national crisis for Bangladesh that threatens internal stability. To understand how refugee influxes become a source of instability in host countries, this thesis reviews literature on challenges of hosting refugees in developing countries. For a better understanding of the impact of refugees in developing countries, this thesis examines how the refugee influxes affect the politics, economy, society, and environment of the developing host communities where the host communities are poor. Based on available secondary sources this work explores how the Rohingya refugee inflows, especially the 2017 influx, affect the political, economic, social and environmental existence of Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh where all the refugee settlements are located. The increasing pressures on the host communities has led to growing tensions between local people and refugees, replacing the initial peaceful cooperation of locals in giving shelter to Rohingya refugees. This situation has contributed to a growing sense of instability in Bangladesh. Although the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has attempted to bring about a durable solution of this crisis, these efforts have been largely unsuccessful and the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar are likely to remain a source of growing instability in the foreseeable future.

Keywords: Rohingya, Refugee, Influx, Instability, Bangladesh

Subject: Development Studies thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2019
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Susanne Schech