Citizens for Justice and Peace

60,000 children stranded, forgotten in camps in Rakhine, Myanmar

10, Jan 2018 | CJP Team

UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado addressed the press at a briefing in Geneva after spending nearly a month in Myanmar, particularly its Rakhine state that is home the Rohingya minority, hundreds of thousands of whom have fled to Bangladesh following a military crackdown in late August 2017. Mercado said she travelled to central Rakhine, “where over 120,000 Rohngya have been stranded in squalid camps since 2012,” with around 200,000 living “in villages where their freedom of movement and access to basic services are also increasingly restricted”. Mercado said UNICEF and its partners “still don’t know what the true picture is of the children who remain in northern Rakhine because we don’t have enough access.” She said that before August 25, “we were treating 4,800 suffering from severe acute malnutrition; these children are no longer receiving this life-saving treatment,” and that 12 outpatient therapeutic centres and five primary health care centres UNICEF was backing are not functioning. Mercado said that the Rohingya population in Maungdow town has significantly diminished, and that the Rohingya children who are still in rural areas “are almost totally isolated. We hear of high levels of toxic fear in children from both Rohingya and Rakhine communities,” she added. Mercado noted that while the spotlight is on northern Rakhine and refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, “over 60,000 Rohingya children remain almost forgotten, trapped in 23 camps in central Rakhine they were driven into by violence in 2012.” 



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