People living along the country’s borders, where fierce clashes between the military and ethnic groups have forced thousands to flee, have pleaded for protection, said Dr Heyzer.
“When I meet refugee representatives, people at the border, what they want is greater protection. And what they are saying to me is … please prevent us from being deported,” she said.
Apart from boosting cross-border support, the special envoy also urged nations to provide shelter and education, and improve the lives of refugees.
“Let’s try internationally and regionally to address some of these critical needs of people on the ground,” she said.
“We can upscale educational opportunities for (refugees, including the) Rohingyas so that they can be more self-reliant and also so that they won’t become a lost generation.”
SHOULD DIALOGUE INVOLVE THE JUNTA?
When asked if she believed that engaging the junta is still vital to resolving the crisis, Dr Heyzer said that all stakeholders should be involved in dialogue, including the military.
She said that during her meeting with Min Aung Hlaing last year, she reiterated the importance of Myanmar implementing ASEAN’s five-point consensus, a peace plan agreed by both sides.