UN says Rohingya children in need of basic education


Rohingya children and youths in Bangladesh refugee camps are in need of education, a spokesperson for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said Friday.

“We are concerned about losing a generation. Young people especially have limited opportunities to get an education here,” Alastair Lawson Tancred told journalists in Cox’s Bazar, a district in southeastern Bangladesh where Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution by the Myanmar army live.

Tancred said more than half of the roughly 1 million Rohingya staying in the camps are children, most of which are under 17 years old.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) aims to provide education for children aged 9-14 in the camps, he added.

– Rohingya Persecution

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled “Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience”.

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children, and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings — including of infants and young children — brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.

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