Tens of thousands of Rohingya children have been left “trapped and almost forgotten” in remote, squalid camps and isolated villages in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, the UN has said.
Stringent restrictions on the movement of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine, which have worsened amid the increased violence over the past 15 months, have left an estimated 60,000 children stranded, in need of aid, and suffering from “high levels of toxic fear”, said Unicef, the UN children’s agency.
The UN’s top human rights official has described Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya population as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
Marixie Mercado, a Unicef spokeswomen who spent a month in the country in December, described the conditions in some of the most remote camps, five hours by boat in Pauktaw township, as appalling. Medical facilities in the camps were so poor that one man told a Unicef caseworker his daughter had killed herself because she could no longer bear a pain in her abdomen that existing camp services were unable to treat.