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Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims pushed to cheap labor in India

(Photo: The Hindu)

By Shahana Butt
November 11, 2013

Ahmad Irshad along with his family fled Myanmar at the age of 14, because they feared being killed by extremist Buddhists.

Living in Jammu region of Indian-controlled Kashmir, he believes the life they live now is no less than a punishment for them. 

Working in a walnut packaging factory is the only chance of survival for thousands of refugees -- young and old. 

India is not a signatory to the United Nations convention relating to the status of refugees. Since there is no law that deals with foreign refugees, the government will decide whether or not to grant the Rohingyas, refugee status on a case-by-case basis. 

Asylum seekers can be given the UN refugee cards instead, which the agency says could also take time. 

Rohingyas are believed to be the most persecuted community of the world. Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees living across the Indian sub-continent hope their lives will one day change for the better.

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