Office of the Spokesperson
October 29, 2017
Simon Henshaw, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, will lead a delegation to Burma and Bangladesh October 29-November 4 to discuss ways to address the humanitarian and human rights concerns stemming from the Rakhine State crisis and improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance to displaced persons in Burma, Bangladesh, and the region. Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Tom Vajda of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and Office Director Patricia Mahoney of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs will accompany the Acting Assistant Secretary.
The delegation will meet with various stakeholders to discuss the U.S. and international responses to the ongoing crisis and to explore durable solutions.
In Burma, Acting Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw and the delegation will meet with the diplomatic community, senior government officials, and UN, international, and NGO partners to discuss the current state of the crisis, promote protection for persons affected by the violence and accountability for reported human rights abuses, urge unhindered humanitarian access to affected communities in Rakhine State, and press for the establishment of protection mechanisms to enable individuals to voluntarily return in safety and with dignity.
In Bangladesh, Acting Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw and the delegation will meet with senior government officials, donors, and humanitarian agencies to discuss efforts to improve conditions for the significant influx of refugees into Bangladesh to effectively meet life-saving needs. The delegation will also visit affected communities in Cox’s Bazar District in southeastern Bangladesh to hear the stories of the people who have fled, assess the impact of the emergency humanitarian response, identify gaps in assistance, and advise on ways to improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
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