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‘Lost generation’ looms for Rohingya children

August 23, 2018 12:12 PM
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DHAKA: Rohingya refugee children who lack proper education in camps in Bangladesh could become a "lost generation", the United Nations said yesterday, a year after Myanmar's army began a crackdown that has forced more than 700,000 people to flee the country.

The lives and futures of more than 380,000 children in refugee camps in Bangladesh are in peril, while hundreds of thousands of Rohingya children still in Myanmar are cut off from aid, said a report by UN children's agency Unicef.

Bangladesh prohibits refugees from receiving formal education, because the government is concerned that the Rohingya population may become a "permanent fixture", according to Unicef spokesman Alastair Lawson-Tancred.

At the outset of the refugee crisis, aid agencies set up informal learning centres for children aged three to 14, but older teenagers feel alienated and hopeless, he said.

"Unquestionably, there is a danger that we might be facing a lost generation.

"Sooner or later, you're going to have large groups of disaffected youth on your hands."

Hundreds of sexual violence cases are reported each week at Cox's Bazar, British charity Oxfam said in a statement this week.

Aid agencies have managed to provide basic services, but the crisis is far from over, with refugees in overcrowded camps at risk of floods, landslides and disease, according to UNICEF.

The British charity Oxfam warned that some basic facilities such as toilets and showers - which often have no locks, doors or roofs - pose safety and health risks to Rohingya women.


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