Leaders’ Dialogue: Together for Girls’ Education in Conflict-Affected and Fragile Contexts
Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina
Hon’ble Prime Minister
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
UNHQ, New York
24 September 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As-salamu alaikum and good afternoon.
Let me begin by expressing my appreciation to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for continuing to lead the world in the area of gender equality.
Ladies and gentlemen
We continue to confront violence, populism and extremism, often uprooting a large number of people from their homeland. Currently more than 65 million people remain displaced and the number is increasing every day.
A majority of them are women and children. They are traumatized, carrying horrific experiences of violence and atrocities.
Ladies and gentlemen
We are facing a formidable challenge hosting over 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh. They fled atrocities in their country in Myanmar.
The Rohingyas have been subject to discrimination and excluded from education and healthcare. They were stripped of their citizenship and denied freedom of movement.
Around 55 percent of the Rohingyas hosted in Bangladesh are children. We have set up eleven hundred and six learning centres in partnership with the UNICEF for imparting informal education to them. These centres are providing informal education to one hundred and thirty-six thousand Rohingya children.
We are continuing our efforts to equip them with life skills. The aim is to build their capacity to lead decent life once they go back to Myanmar.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The children fleeing conflict face particular trauma. We have to bear in mind three particular issues –
First, these children deserve psycho-social care and special education.
Second, they cannot be expected to adjust to normal school setting. They need to be provided with a special learning environment.
Third, their education should be aligned with their own culture, ethnicity and language to the extent possible.
We are thankful to the international community for supporting our efforts to give education to the Rohingya children in Bangladesh. International community should continue to invest in the camps in Bangladesh as well as in Myanmar villages to help their return and reintegration.
The Canadian investment in girls’ education in conflict situations is indeed encouraging. We appreciate Canada’s strong political and humanitarian support for the Rohingya. Deprived of a past, Rohingya women and girls should be able to dream of a future.
Thank you all.
Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu
May Bangladesh Liveforever.