Cate Blanchett asks for help for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

United Nations, (ANTARA News) - Cate Blanchett, a goodwill ambassador of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), on Tuesday asked for efforts to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and to create the right conditions for their return to Myanmar.

"The focus of all our efforts must be to provide much-needed support inside Bangladesh while working to ensure conditions in Myanmar are conducive to return," the Oscar-winning Australian actress told the UN Security Council.

"The many refugees that I spoke with consider Myanmar their home but they have real, deep fears about returning there," she said.

Blanchett visited Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in March. "Nothing could have prepared me for the extent and depth of the suffering I saw," she said of the trip.

The denial of their rights to move, their right to marry, their right to work, their right to health care and education renders them among the most vulnerable people on the planet, she said. "Refugees move back home when it is safe and secure to do so. The Rohingya cannot return to the very conditions they were forced to flee."

Currently, about 900,000 Rohingya refugees are living in make-shift shelters in Bangladesh, 700,000 of them have fled Myanmar during the past 12 months.

Xinhua reported that Blanchett stressed the importance of citizenship for the Rohingya refugees.

"A clear pathway to full citizenship is essential. This is not a luxury. This is not a privilege. This is a basic right that all of us here enjoy. A right that the Rohingya do not have."

The Security Council held a debate on the issue of Rohingya refugees on Tuesday, a year after the start of the exodus of the Rohingya from Myanmar`s Rakhine State.