Precarity, Territory, and Identity Politics Panel
La crise des Rohingyas et la réponse
Chair/Président: Mohamed Salihin Subhan, University of British Columbia
Discussant/Intervenant: Mohamed Salihin Subhan, University of British Columbia
This article seeks to investigate how resentment towards refugees becomes amplified on social media during times of crisis. The focus of this presentation is the public discourse of Malaysians on the social media platform, Twitter, regarding the Rohingya refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Through a qualitative content analysis of Tweets from Malaysian Twitter users during the county’s Movement Restriction Order in April 2020 and case studies of refugees from other nations in Malaysia, this presentation aims to identify the cause of grievances among Malaysians towards the Rohingya refugee community. This article argues that amplified resentment towards Rohingya refugees on social media during times of crisis is caused by the citizens’ echo chambering of implicit insecurities. Additionally, there is a deeper problem rooted in the nation where the distinction between refugees and undocumented migrants does not exist, and the inconsistencies of government policies towards refugees of different nations. This presentation concludes by proposing future research on policy gaps regarding refugees that can outweigh the grievances of citizens.
Although Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) has been extensively studied in terms of its theoretical bearing, research investigating how the policy manifests itself in its execution has been inadequate. In its official strategy for responding to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, Canada seeks to meet the “unique needs of women and girls” which is in line with the FIAP. As a result, the country has been directing its funding to purposes that address gender-based issues; one of them is gender-based violence (GBV), which is also one of the core priority areas mentioned in the FIAP. In order to study how this priority manifests in action, this paper evaluates Canada’s humanitarian assistance/funding towards the GBV sector in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Joint Response Plans for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis. It also made a comparative study of the funding offered by Canada and other national government donors towards the GBV sector in each of the mentioned year’s JRP. It has been found that Canada’s contribution alone makes up 45.4 per cent of the total funding received for GBV purpose in 2019. Moreover, while Canada was the fourth largest donor in 2018, it stood first in 2019 and 2020 among all country donors of the GBV sector. Analyzing the findings, the paper marks that Canada’s Feminist International Assistance policy rightfully plays out in its response to the Rohingya crisis, thus reinforcing Canada’s reputation as a gender-sensitive donor among other countries having similar pro-gender norms within their foreign policy frameworks.
The numbers of refugees increased all over the world while humanitarian organizations are challenged to support this vast population in different parts of the world. Rohingya refugees are forced to flee from Myanmar which became augmented in 2017 when the military crackdown started. While many are internally displaced, Bangladesh is hosting about one million Rohingya in the world's largest refugee camp where humanitarian support is becoming challenging due to legal and environmental vulnerabilities. International law becomes restricted for refugees in Bangladesh as it is not the signatory to the international convention of refugees. The camp area is vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. These people have numerous health issues that put pressure on the humanitarian organizations to manage the crises. This paper aims to identify the pros and cons to delivering humanitarian support to the Rohingya. It also intends to discover how humanitarian services are enabling refugees and rebuilding their future. The research will try to answer: under what conditions and how humanitarian assistance is delivering to the Rohingya? What are the challenges of humanitarian organizations during their activities to Rohingya during COVID-19? Is this assistance good enough for these refugees’ sustainable future, why and why not? The paper will follow a system approach and be based on secondary sources of data to answer the questions and attain the objectives.
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