By Md. Kamruzzaman
ANKARA (AA) – At the end of a joint visit to Rohingya refugee camps in southern Bangladesh, top United Nations officials on Friday called upon the international community to continue supporting critical needs of of the persecuted community.
UN Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi along with other top officials reiterated their commitment to keep working toward safe and sustainable solutions for Rohingya refugees in Myanmar, according to a statement.
“They noted that almost half of the 540,000 refugee children under the age of 12 are currently missing out on education altogether, while the remainder have access only to very limited schooling. Only a handful of teenage children are currently able to access any form of education or training, ” the UN said.
“This remains one of the world’s biggest refugee crises,” said Grandi according to the statement.
“I saw a great deal of progress, but their situation, especially for women and children, remains fragile. With the current crisis almost two years on we must give refugees the chance to learn, build skills and contribute to their communities while also preparing for reintegration when they can return to Myanmar,” he added.
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.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
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 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.
The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – and brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.
In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity and genocidal intent.