KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today called on the government to do more for the Rohingyas taking refuge in the country.
Its chairman Razali Ismail said in a statement that the government should allow them to work while they are here. It should also review the policy of not allowing children of refugees to attend public schools.
In welcoming the measures of the government to tackle the “humanitarian crisis” facing the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakine State, Myanmar, including hosting 56,000 of them, Razali said:
“Suhakam is of the view that more has to be done for the refugee population as a whole who are already in the country.
“Refugees in Malaysia still remain vulnerable as they do not have a right to work, and their children do not necessarily have a right to education. Our education sector does not entitle refugee children to attend public schools. Suhakam reiterates its calls on the government to support, through legal framework, refugees right to work while they seek temporary refuge.”
He also urged the government to reconsider its education policy for refugee children.
“Suhakam believes that as far as the Rohingya are concerned, the government is, in a way, resorting to applying certain provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Suhakam is of the view that it is then timely for the government to proceed to accede to the Convention as there is a need for clarity, legal certainty and protection for refugees.”