UNICEF reports Rohingya refugee children are in dreadful state


The children were in lack of enough food, clean water and healthcare facilities. A report "Outcast and Desperate" showed that, up to 12,000 more children join them every week, fleeing violence or hunger in Myanmar, often still troubled by atrocities they witnessed. When the UN declared to initiate the "ethnic cleansing" campaign following insurgent attacks, since then almost 600,000 Rohingya refugees have left northern Rakhine state.

Simon Ingram said, "This is not going to be a short-term, it is not going to end anytime soon. So it is absolutely critical that the borders remain open and that protection for children is given and equally that children born in Bangladesh have their birth registered." Including newborns, most of the Rohingya refugees absconded from state without papers and they are stateless. He said, "Without an identity they have no chance of ever assimilating into any society effectively."

Based on the experience, Ingram said that "In a sense it is no surprise that they must truly see this place as a hell on earth." Under the age of five in children of Rohingya refugee’s, one in five was estimated to be severely malnourished and they required medical attention. In the longer-term analysis, there is very high risk of occurance of water-borne diseases, diarrhea and quite conceivably cholera.

UNICEF has provided clean water and toilets to Rohingya refugees and has even helped children who are suffering from measles and cholera by providing vaccination. Out of $434 million U.N, the agency is seeking $76 million appeal for Rohingya refugees for six months, however is only 7% funded.

Ingram said, "We repeat the call for the need for protection of all children in Rakhine state, this is an absolute fundamental requirement. The atrocities against children and civilians must end," He added, "We just must keep putting it on the record, we cannot keep silent."