THE SITUATION IN BRIEF: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
In August 2017, the Myanmar military began to attack the country's Rohingya community - burning villages to the ground and killing or assaulting thousands of innocents. The unprecedented violence against this long-persecuted minority forced thousands of families to flee for their lives. They walked for days through jungles and mountain ranges and faced violence and starvation at the hands of human traffickets as they made the dangerous passage across the Bay of Bengal.
Today, there are half a million Rohingya children in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Traumatized by the atrocities they witnessed, under threat from natural disasters and human predators and without the chance to return to school, the future for Rohingya children looks bleak.
SOS Children’s Villages has provided support to vulnerable children and communities in Bangladesh since 1973. And since 2018, our work in Bangladesh has included responding to the urgent needs of Rohingya children and families at the Kutupalong and Balukhali refugee camps. As of March 2018, there were an estimated 800,000 Rohingya refugees living in camps, with more on the way; the violence against the Rohingya community in Myanmar has not stopped.
In the camps they have fled to in Bangladesh, Rohingya children and families face new challenges, as humanitarian agencies struggle to provide shelter, food, medical assistance and water. Without access to proper food, clean water, or sanitation, disease and child malnutrition are constant threats. And with few opportunities for parents to find steady employment, extreme poverty has left Rohingya children vulnerable to child labor, trafficking and abuse.