Rohingya Refugee Response in Bangladesh: Legal Protection Fact Sheet – as of 31 March 2022 – Bangladesh

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KEY ACTIVITIES

Protection monitoring in camps

UNHCR staff carry out protection monitoring with the help of refugee volunteers in the 33 camps, to identify the protection needs of refugees, monitor security and protection incidents and provide support by referring victims and survivors who need an immediate response to appropriate services. In addition, UNHCR’s toll-free hotline, available to refugees daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., provides an alternative channel for refugees in the camps who need information, share complaints, report their concerns or to ask for help.

Access to justice and legal assistance

UNHCR works with lawyers from partner organizations and trained volunteer refugee paralegals to identify and refer refugees in need of legal assistance. Legal aid services provided by legal partners in the 33 camps include legal education, legal advice, mediation, assistance in filing complaints at police stations and courts, and representation in court. In addition, UNHCR and its legal partners work with police, camp administration officials and justice sector actors to advocate for appropriate and timely law enforcement responses to serious crimes. and strengthening refugees’ access to the national justice system. As part of its monitoring of arrests and cases of detention, UNHCR works closely with its legal partners to ensure that legal assistance is provided to refugees arrested or in detention.

Anti-Trafficking Task Force

Together with IOM, UNHCR co-chairs the Counter-Trafficking Working Group, which leads a collective strategy of anti-trafficking interventions in the camps, in line with the national counter-trafficking strategy. The strategy aims to 1) Prevent human trafficking through awareness raising in the camps; 2) Protect victims of human trafficking through protection services, including legal assistance; and 3) Build the capacity of key stakeholders in mainstreaming anti-trafficking mechanisms, providing technical advice and training. Since January, the task force, made up of 15 international and national organizations, has developed a work plan for 2022 and held nine trainings with government officials and humanitarian personnel.

Training and capacity development

UNHCR provides government officials and humanitarian staff with capacity-building training on a range of refugee protection issues. In January, UNHCR organized a workshop on “Facilitating Access to Justice and Legal Aid for Rohingya Refugees” for 50 police officers from nine police stations in Cox’s Bazar district. 67 lawyers from UNHCR’s legal partners were trained in identifying and providing legal assistance to victims of human trafficking.

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