News & Updates 10 December 2023

Bangladesh: Empowering Rohingya Women and Men on Human Rights Day

In the heart of the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the collaboration between AJAR (Asia Justice and Rights) and SAVE (Social Action of Voluntary Efforts) creates waves of positive change. Committed to fostering human rights and dignity, this partnership is making significant strides in empowering the refugees of Camp 16 and Camp 01. This program aims to  Create a secure and inclusive environment where participants feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and personal experiences related to human rights. Emphasise the value of diverse voices in shaping a comprehensive understanding. 

On this Human Rights Day, AJAR initiated two activities with the Rohingya refugees in the camps:-

  1. The Quilt’s Tale: Unveiling the Voices
  2. Exploring Human Rights Through Dialogue and Art 

The Quilt’s Tale: Unveiling the Voices

Before the Human Rights Day, a workshop unfolded at Camp 1 W in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This creative gathering provided a nurturing space for ten women to engage in profound discussions about human rights, reparations, and the unique tapestry of their personal experiences. Participants shared their insights by unveiling the human rights themes depicted on their quilts in a poignant display. The quilting profoundly amplified their reflections, turning threads into a resonant chorus that echoed their collective commitment to human rights.

This workshop stands as more than a prelude to Human Rights Day; it is a testament to the transformative power of creativity. Through quilting, these women have expressed their thoughts and stitched together a community of empowered voices, ready to amplify the call for human rights.

Following the harrowing events of the 2017 exodus, Rohingya women in Camp 16 face the daily challenges of reclaiming their rights amidst adversity. The quilt they’ve crafted is a visual testament to their resilience, echoing the collective plea for fundamental rights such as safety, education, citizenship, and freedom: 

In Their Own Words: Expressing the Unspoken

Through the quilt, these women share their heartfelt sentiments:

Mustakima: “Human rights are essential for everyone. As refugees, we lost our freedom, but through this quilt, we raise our voice.”

Halima: “I am here to advocate for our rights so that we can reclaim them sooner. Speaking up is crucial.”

Redowana: “Though we feel the loss of our rights, working on this quilt brings us joy and unity every day.”

Sowaleha: “Our government must secure our rights. We have the right to vote, freedom, and citizenship.”

Mobia Khatun:I aspired to pursue education in Myanmar, a right denied. Education is our fundamental right.”

Human Rights Day Celebration by Rohingya Survivors through Dialogue and Art:

The spirit of Human Rights Day 2023 echoed through the camps as 17 passionate volunteers from Camp 16 joined hands to create striking posters that vividly portrayed the essence of human rights. The vibrant and thought-provoking posters are a testament to the community’s artistic talents and serve as powerful reminders of the rights every individual deserves. Their urge for human rights has been amplified through their posters: 

Haron: “We have rights to live and rights to have a safe space to live freely. We want education for everyone. A right delayed is a right denied.”

Shohida: “If everyone is getting their human rights then why don’t we? Human Rights Day is very crucial for us because on this day we can talk more about our rights.”

Romana: “I have education rights, no one can violate them.” 

Musa: “We have the right to get citizenship in our motherland, but others violate it. We are fighting to get it back” 

Simultaneously, the dedicated community members of Camp-01 showcased their commitment to human rights. A group of 20 volunteers poured their creativity into impactful posters, contributing to the larger conversation on human rights.

Rawsid: “Human Rights Day is a significant occasion that serves as a reminder to commemorate and promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). we Rohingya volunteers have taken the initiative to create a poster aimed at raising awareness about the rights and struggles of the Rohingya community. This art aims to provide an overview and analysis of the poster’s design, content, and the impact it has on promoting human rights for the Rohingya people”

Sawkutara: “The poster created by Rohingya. We Rohingya volunteers stand out with its simplicity and powerful symbolism. The design incorporates vibrant colors and vivid imagery to capture viewers’ attention, ensuring the message is effectively conveyed. Visual elements representing human rights, such as a pair of hands breaking free from chains, convey a clear message of freedom and liberation. The poster design effectively captures the essence of the Rohingya community’s fight for their rights.” 

Yeasmin ara: “The content of the poster delivers a strong and impactful message concerning the human rights violations faced by Rohingya refugees. Through concise and well-placed text, the poster highlights crucial issues such as discrimination, displacement, and violence.”

Additionally, 10 women from Camp-01 exhibited their craftsmanship by sewing a quilt that tells a story of unity, strength, and the pursuit of justice.

📢 Spreading Awareness, Inspiring Change

These artistic endeavours serve as catalysts for change, fostering awareness and igniting conversations around human rights within the camps and beyond. By showcasing the talent and determination of the Rohingya community, AJAR and SAVE are amplifying their voices and creating a ripple effect of positive change.

🙌 Join the Movement!

As we celebrate Human Rights Day 2023, let’s stand in solidarity with AJAR, SAVE, and the incredible individuals in Camp 16 and Camp 01. Together, we can amplify the message of human rights, fostering a world where dignity, justice, and equality prevail.

#AJAR #SAVE #HumanRightsDay #EmpowerChange #RohingyaCamps #CommunityEmpowerment