In the world's largest refugee camp Kutupalong in Cox's Bazar, with one million Rohingya refugees, children are exposed to the risk of violence and sexual abuse on a daily basis. About half a million children live in the camp. Almost 76,000 are younger than 3 years and have during their lives not seen anything else than the camp.
Tragic events, for us almost impossible to comprehend, like rape, dead children dumped in the woods, human traffickers, kidnappings, prostitution, sexual slavery and other forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) are being reported far too often - from inside the camp...
Boys have a higher risk to be offer for human trafficking, whereas girls are often sold off by their own families to work in households or for sexual transactions.
The situation has worsened dramatically due to the pandemic and recurring cyclones. The need or humanitarian aid is increasing.
For children, a refugee camp should be a place for temporary protection against violence and suffering. And not the opposite. Children are covered by the FN child convention. They have the right to education, health care, food and protection.
Barnfonden through Childfund work for prevention of Sexual and Gender Based Violence against Rohingya children and youth. What are they doing?
Safe Spaces are established for boys and girls where protection services, advice and psychosocial support are offered. Teachers and community stakeholders are trained on children's rights, protection, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and positive discipline to improve the quality of education. Regular house visits are carried out to raise awareness about sexual and gender-based violence and information is shared about protection measures, available services, child development and positive parenting. Special child protection committees are established, and the structure of the camp is strengthened to create preparedness and warning systems to protect children and young people from SGBV. Strengthening and coordinating support for already vulnerable children and ensuring access to medical, psychosocial and legal services that also include livelihoods. Responding to the increased intensity of natural disasters, educators and community actors will receive training in child-centred DRR (disaster risk reduction). Training sessions on child protection for young people will also include awareness-raising exercises on DRR and preparedness.
Barnfonden, member of ChildFund, gets support from, amongst others, MarCable Consulting in this project, Cox's Bazar.