Rohingya hoping for resettlement in the Czech Republic

I came across this month-old article (probably from the UNHCR) but just today published at a Rohingya website.   If the Czech Republic is interviewing prospective refugees in Malaysia to come to their country, they will likely be Rohingya Muslims.

With the wrap-up of a selection mission to Malaysia this week, the Czech Republic is on its way to becoming the first former Eastern Bloc nation to become a resettlement country for refugees.

Henrik Nordentoft, acting UNHCR representative in Malaysia, said that while the Czechs have a history of receiving refugees, this is the first time a resettlement programme is being formalized where the Czech government selects refugees to start a new life in the country. The small Central European country is initially to take about two dozen Myanmar refugees from Malaysia.

“The Czech Republic joins a small group of countries who offer resettlement to refugees and UNHCR is grateful to the Czech Republic for responding to our call to countries to offer this vital assistance to refugees,” added Nordentoft. “For many refugees, being offered a new home in another country can mean the difference between life and death. It offers refugees both protection and a lasting solution to their plight.”

A Czech delegation is completing a mission to Kuala Lumpur to interview some 40 refugees for selection and to provide cultural orientation. The Czech pilot programme is aimed at helping vulnerable refugees, so top consideration was given to survivors of trauma, refugees with serious medical problems, or protection needs.

The following information must be inaccurate because the US alone will be taking between 70,000-80,000 refugees this fiscal year, and who knows how high the Obama Administration will set the ceiling for FY2010 which begins October 1st.

The Czech Republic joins the ranks of some 19 countries worldwide that open their doors annually to refugees through formal resettlement programmes, and is the eighth European Union country to have established such a programme. Some 70,000 refugees are accepted for resettlement worldwide every year.

See our category on Rohingya here.

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