Tuesday 22 May 2018

60 children are born every day in Rohingya shelter camps in Bangladesh

Sixty children are born every day in Rohingya shelter camps in Bangladesh. Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar saw a baby boom in the last nine months when over 16,000 new faces were added to thousands of Myanmar nationals, who fled persecution in their homeland.

An earlier study of 'Save the Children' project said that 48,000 babies would be born this year in already overcrowded Rohingya camps.

The latest report on the baby boom by the UNICEF, however, said that it is impossible to know the exact number of babies who were or will be born in the Rohingya camps.

An estimated 6,93,000 Rohingyas fled across the border since the Myanmar military began carrying out reprisals to allege insurgent attacks on state security forces, the UNICEF said.

According to the UN, there were about 9,05,000 Rohingyas in Bangladesh as of April, some of them having fled earlier violence.

Picture for representation
The Rohingyas are a persecuted, mostly stateless Muslim minority with a total population estimated around 1.1 million.

UNICEF's representative in Bangladesh Edouard Beigbeder said, "Around 60 babies a day are taking their first breath in appalling conditions, away from home, to mothers who have survived displacement, violence, trauma and, at times, rape,"

UN Security Council envoys visited the refugee camps in April.

"It is impossible to know the true number of babies who have been or will be born as a result of sexual violence," Beigbeder said. "It is vital that each and every new and expectant mother and every new-born receive all the help and support they need."

Rohingya insurgent attacks on security posts in Myanmar's Rakhine state last August sparked a military operation that Myanmar has said was legitimate. Last November, Myanmar's military released a report in which it denied all accusations of rape by security forces.

A senior Bangladesh Health Ministry official, who declined to be named due to sensitivity of the matter, said last week that so far 18,300 pregnant women had been identified in the camps and the rough total estimate was around 25,000.

(Source: India Today)

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