ePaper

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Over 60 babies born in Rohingya camps a day

  • Print

More than 16,000 Rohingya babies were born in Rohingya camps and informal settlements in Cox's Bazar in the nine months since Myanmar forced thousands of families to flee their homes across the border from its in Rakhine State.

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

"This is far from the best start in life. It has been nine months since the wave of violence forced thousands to flee, conditions for pregnant women remain dire, especially for survivors of sexual violence, says Unicef.

Bangladesh currently has a Rohingya population, which is far more than Bhutan's entire population.Bhutan has around 800,000 people whereas Bangladesh had to give shelter to some 1.2 million Rohingyas.

As new waves of violence started in Rakhine in August last year, there were widespread reports of rape and sexual violence against women and girls.

Women and children who are survivors of sexual violence are among the most vulnerable and marginalized of the more than 800,000 Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar, requiring specialized support and women and girls may not come forward due to the risk of stigmatization and additional persecution, reports UNB.

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

Of all the babies born in the camps since September, only about 3,000 - or 1 in 5 - were delivered in health facilities.
Estimates suggest that only 18 per cent of mothers currently give birth in health centers.Working with partners, Unicef is providing antenatal and postnatal care to mothers and their babies.

Unicef case management workers regularly visit mothers in their shelters to assess their situation, provide support - more than 150 parent groups have been set up across the camps - and offer them referral services.Unicef has also mobilized almost 250 community volunteers to make sure that a growing number of women visit the healthcare facilities before and after giving birth, according to Unicef.

Unicef is also advocating for proper, legal birth registration for newborns, concerned that without this, babies will have trouble accessing the vital basic services they are entitled to.The 'invisibility' of non-registered children increases their vulnerability and the risk that violations of their rights will go unnoticed, Unicef said.

During the times of conflict and unrest, providing newborns with birth registration is a matter of urgent priority, it said.
Children unregistered at birth or without identification documents are often excluded from accessing education, healthcare and social security.

If children are separated from their families, reuniting them is made more difficult by the lack of official documentation.

Bangladesh and Myanmar signed the repatriation agreement on November 23, 2017. On January 16, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a document on 'Physical Arrangement' which will facilitate the return of Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh.

The 'Physical Arrangement' stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years from the start of repatriation.Bangladesh and Myanmar will hold the second meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) here on Thursday.

Bangladesh, according to officials, will "give a push" for expediting the verification and Rohingya repatriation process at the as little progress is seen in this regard since the handover of the first Rohingya list to Myanmar.

More News For this Category

Bangladesh Bhavana at Visva-Bharati

| By News Desk
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi have jointly unveiled the plaque of Bangladesh Bhavana at Visva-Bharati university founded by Rabindranath Tagore, in West Bengal.
Bangladesh Bhavana at Visva-Bharati

'Nobel literature prize may be delayed again'

| By News Desk
The Nobel Foundation on Friday said this year's literature prize, already postponed until 2019 due to a sexual assault scandal, may be delayed further.Lars Heikensten, executive
'Nobel literature prize may be delayed again'

Indo-Bangla pledge to fortify bond

| By News Desk
Terming Bangladesh-India ties beyond strategic, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday hoped that the two countries will be able to solve their any problem maintaining their bonds. "I

Gas price may rise by 75%

| By Shah Alam Nur
Gas price is going to rise again. Six distribution companies in the sector have made a proposal to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to hike the price by

A cultural relation symbol: Modi

| By News Desk
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said the Bangladesh Bhaban in Santiniketan would remain as a symbol of cultural relation between Bangladesh and India.Despite many barriers,

Rebuild non-communal society with Nazrul's ideology: Hamid

| By News Desk
President M Abdul Hamid yesterday said the new generation will contribute to rebuild an exploitation-free and non-communal society being imbued with the patriotism and ideology of National Poet
Rebuild non-communal society with Nazrul's ideology: Hamid

Ties continuous, firm: Mamata

| By News Desk
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yesterday said India-Bangladesh relations are continuous and firm since 1971 like the Padma, Meghna and Jamuna."Huge water were flowed in

Holy Quran revealed in Ramadan

| By Mohammad Abdullah Al Mamun
Ramadan is a great month in which the Holy Quran was endowed upon us. Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala Himself declared the greatness of this month in the Holy

US NDAA includes sanctions

| By News Desk
The US House of Representatives has passed the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defence Authorisation Act that includes sanctions on Myanmar officials responsible for ethnic cleansing."The NDAA

Eight more killed

| By News Desk
Eight more suspected drug peddlers were killed in reported gunfights with members of the police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Dhaka city, Myemensingh, Cumilla, Sherpur, Jhenidah, Gaibandha

© 2018 The Asian Age