The research article is based on the Rohingya Refugees concerning the abuse of Human Rights. The article covers areas concerning the conditions of the refugees during the attacks as well as after in the refugee camps. It also portrays out how the refugees have been denied their basic human rights and also how the women, especially, have suffered under the atrocities committed by the security forces.
It also states the terrible and weakening condition of the children since the time of the attacks. What we will see here is how the Rohingya refugees have been enduring all the pain that they were and are still facing due to the inhuman and disastrous acts of the security forces.
The Rohingya Refugee crisis had stood out to be one of the world’s fastest and terrifying emergencies and also a crisis about the human rights violation. This was a bone-chilling event that left all the victims a nightmare. Decades of persecution culminated during a statewide campaign of organized, systematic, and violent eviction of the Rohingya people by the Myanmar government beginning in August 2017.
There were no bounds and restrictions and they knew no limitations to the level of atrocities committed. Thousands of houses were burned along with the farms, and it also included attacks of sexual violence and mass executions. Although the Myanmar government has denied any responsibility for any such acts.
The Rohingya is an ethnic group in Myanmar being one of the foremost persecuted groups within the world. Quite a million Rohingya sleep in Myanmar today, mostly within the state of Rakhine in the west, and face wide-ranging restrictions on their rights to maneuver, work, marry and even have children. [i]
Who are the Rohingya Refugees?
The Rohingya people are a Muslim ethnic group living mostly in western Myanmar. They have faced decades of persecution under the previous military regime in Myanmar. Recent reforms in Myanmar that brought Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party into power have, at an equivalent time, led to a worsening of things for the Rohingya. Violence between
Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhine in Rakhine State in 2012 led to 140,000 people, mostly Rohingya, being displaced. Some 120,000 still sleep in poor conditions in displacement camps.
In October 2016, a blanket military crackdown, following a raid on police stations and border posts by a gaggle of Rohingya that killed 9 officers, led to horrific accounts of rape, torture, and murder. Around 100,000 Rohingya are displaced, including almost 70,000 who have fled across the border to Bangladesh.[ii]
Violation of Human Rights
The terrible abuse of human rights against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims which included arbitrary arrests, torture, rape, and deaths is a big question to the humanity and presence of law in the government. Buddhist-majority Myanmar has long considered the Rohingya to be “Bengalis” from Bangladesh albeit their families have lived within the country for generations. Nearly all are denied citizenship since 1982, effectively rendering them stateless, and that they also are denied freedom of movement and other basic rights.
- Sexual Violence against women
Since August 25, 2017, Burmese security forces have committed widespread rape against women and girls as a part of a campaign of a group action against Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine State. Rohingya women, men, and youngsters have arrived in Bangladesh in desperate condition—hungry, exhausted, and sometimes with rape, bullet, or burn injuries. The crimes and the atrocities of the security forces increased at a spiking and alarming rate.
The Burmese security forces raped and sexually assaulted women and girls not only during the major attacks on villages but also within the weeks before these major attacks took place after repeated harassment. While it’s difficult to estimate the numbers of rapes that occurred, there have been cases reported and received in quite a few numbers.
These likely only represent a proportion of the particular number of girls who were raped. Others don’t report rape due to the deep stigma that creates a survivor’s reluctancy to ask for justice. Fear of getting to pay medical fees that they can’t afford, or the shortage of confidence in ever obtaining redress, are also factors. The rapes were amid further acts of violence, humiliation, and cruelty. Security forces not only raped women and girls but also physically abused them with fists or guns along with hitting them through boots.[iii]
The women and girls faced days that can be considered to be nightmares as they were also a victim to mass rapes and gang rapes. There were situations when many girls were at once, in a single room, raped together, and also when a single girl was raped by a gang of men.
- Denial of the Right to Education
Bangladesh opened its borders and has been providing the refugees with the shelter since August 2017. It already provides refuge to roughly 300,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled previous waves of persecution in Myanmar. The Bangladesh government has made clear that the Rohingya won’t be ready to remain within the country. So, they have been deliberately preventing them from integrating into the local Bangladeshi society.
The government, however, requires Rohingya refugees to measure in camps and bars Rohingya children from enrolling in schools in local communities outside the camps or taking national school examinations. Inside the camps, not only does the government not provide any education, but it’s also barring UN humanitarian agencies and NGOs, funded by international donors, from providing Rohingya children with any formal, accredited education. It bans using the Bangladeshi curriculum on the idea that the youngsters are going to be repatriated within two years.
Meanwhile, humanitarian and camp authorities say that Myanmar has not agreed to acknowledge its school curriculum if utilized in the camps. In effect, for Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh, who have already lost quite a few years of schooling, there’s no prospect of formal, recognized, and quality education. The education crisis faced by Rohingya refugee children is particularly acute because Myanmar had already deprived many of them of access to high school.
Children dropped out of faculties in Rakhine state thanks to discrimination, harassment, or fear of abuse by security forces, or because the government barred Rohingya from teaching while non-Rohingya teachers refused to show in their communities. Movement restrictions imposed on Rohingya by the Myanmar authorities were particularly harmful to secondary-school-age children unless there was a lyceum in their town or village.
Living conditions of the Refugees
After fleeing violence in Myanmar, Rohingya refugees live in rudimentary conditions. With 40,000 people per square kilometer, the camps are one of the foremost crowded places on Earth. More than five families sleep in cramped, 10-by-16-foot shelters with just one room. Up to twenty people share one outdoor latrine. They need to wait in line for water for laundry, cooking, and bathing.
During seasonal monsoon rains from April to November, refugees’ makeshift shelters are in danger from floods and landslides, making living conditions worse. Given the recent humid weather in southern Bangladesh and frequent windblown dust, respiratory infections are common among refugee children and adults. [iv]Acute watery diarrhea is another frequent ailment. It’s especially dangerous together with malnutrition, which is widespread.
Refugees receive monthly food rations that include rice, lentils, and oil. Although the rations are nutritious, it’s difficult to eat an equivalent food day after day. About half the refugee population now receives e-voucher cards to shop for meat and fresh produce from World Food Programme stores, but dietary diversity and balanced nutrition remains a challenge.
The Rohingya also suffer from psychosocial stress made worse by overcrowded conditions. The Rohingya are a culturally conservative community. Women and teenage girls are expected to remain home and to be homemakers, not breadwinners. They lack control over household finances, and their dependence makes them susceptible to assault, violence, child marriage, exploitation, and trafficking.
Refugee children are at high risk of disease, including malnutrition, also as physical abuse and violence. Children routinely suffer from communicable diseases like diarrhea and respiratory infections, also as conditions like prickly heat and head lice. Across the camps, almost 540,000 children need protection. They face serious risks, including psychosocial distress, neglect, abuse, separation from caregivers, sexual violence, child marriage, child labor, and trafficking. Girls are particularly vulnerable. Acute malnutrition among refugee children under age 5 has decreased since 2017, but remains at “serious” levels, consistent with WHO. Levels of stunting remain at quite 30%. this suggests that children are smaller for his or her age and should never catch up.
As has been made evident throughout this article, the Rohingya issue is a huge crisis that concerns a variety of nations. It is recommended that states within the region foster more collaboration and seek to collectively address the difficulty, while also acknowledging their responsibility during this regard. Importantly, any regional approach should be grounded in human rights and humanitarian principles of equality, non-discrimination, and protection.
It is evident from the above article that the wide-ranging issues about the refugees have not yet been solved due to which they are unable to lead a normal life. The government, concerning the countries which have given shelter to the refugees, needs to provide help to develop their conditions starting with the status of life.
1. What is the condition of the women refugees?
- The women refugees have suffered a lot of violence during the attack starting with rape, physical abuse, and even deaths but currently, they are in a better situation as they have been provided with shelter and are much safer under the government of the respective countries.
2. What are the urgent calls that need to be answered soon?
- People are in urgent need of shelter, medical aid, food, and water and sanitation facilities as they arrive exhausted and traumatized into overflowing camps and settlements. The ongoing rains and floods in Bangladesh threaten to make a good deeper health emergency unless clean water, sanitation services, like latrines and showers, and hygiene supplies, like soap and buckets are provided soon. The monsoon season poses a specific health risk for youngsters and older people that are frail.
3. Why are people leaving Myanmar?
- Multiple outbreaks of violence in October 2016 and August 2017 in Rakhine State, Myanmar, forced the Rohingya people to escape their homes. There are numerous reports of widespread violence against men, women, and youngsters.
4. How did the crisis happen in the first place?
- The Rohingya people are called ‘stateless’ and are living during a small part of Myanmar called Rakine State for generations. It’s where they feel they need to suffer dehumanizing oppression. In August 2017 a gaggle called the ARSA (Rohingya insurgents) were involved in brutal and bloody attacks on the Myanmar military to liberate themselves.
Despite the very fact that they’d been forced to measure under apartheid-like conditions, the actions of ARSA are inexcusable. The Burmese military responded with equal brutality and violence against the Rohingya people. Their actions also are inexcusable. The victims altogether are the various many innocent children, women, and men trapped during this violence, be it families torn apart due to the violence of the ARSA, or families torn apart due to the violence of the Burmese military.
5. What about the justice of the sexual violence survivors?
- The use of sexual violence in Myanmar should be investigated as a criminal offense against humanity. Experts should document the stories of survivors and therefore the impact of this violence. But more broadly, it’s difficult to imagine how victims will heal given the uncertainties of their future. They don’t know if they’re getting to be ready to stay in Bangladesh, or whether or not they could also be pushed to travel back to a rustic where women faced horrific persecution.
- [i] Myanmar Rohingya: What you need to know about the crisis?; 4th September 2020; https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41566561
- [ii] Rohini J. Haar; Documentation of human rights abuses among Rohingya refugees from Myanmar; 4th September 2020; https://conflictandhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13031-019-0226-9
- [iii] “All of my body was in pain” Sexual violence against Rohingya women and girls in Burma; 4th September 2020; https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/11/16/all-my-body-was-pain/sexual-violence-against-rohingya-women-and-girls-burma
- [iv] Sreeparna Banerjee; The Rohingya crisis: A health situation analysis of refugee camps in Bangladesh; 4th September 2020; https://www.orfonline.org/research/the-rohingya-crisis-a-health-situation-analysis-of-refugee-camps-in-bangladesh-53011/n