Bangladesh + 1 more

Tragic drowning of Rohingya caused by desperation

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Following news reports of over a dozen Rohingya refugee women and children who drowned when their boat sank off the coast of Bangladesh earlier on Tuesday, Save the Children has issued the following statement:

Athena Rayburn, Save the Children’s Humanitarian Advocacy Manager in Cox’s Bazar, said:

“The Rohingya refugee crisis has claimed yet more innocent victims today, this time off the coast of Bangladesh. Such tragic incidents are caused by desperation. Persecuted in their home country of Myanmar and confined to refugee camps in Bangladesh, Rohingya families, including children, are willing to risk their lives on dangerous sea journeys in order to escape a life of misery and suffering. With no prospect of return anytime soon, Rohingya refugee children will continue to be a lost generation with little or no opportunity to improve their lives.

“The Bangladeshi government has been extremely generous in hosting Rohingya refugees for over two years now, but the more time passes and the more desperate people become, the greater need there is for refugee children to have access to basic services including formal and accredited education. This is the only way that Rohingya children will be able to continue to learn and develop, so they have skills they’ll need in the future when they can go back to Myanmar.

“We urge the Myanmar government to take all necessary steps to ensure the Rohingya community can return to their homes in a safe and dignified manner. The tragic drowning of women and children in the Bay of Bengal today should be a wakeup call for us all.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Shahidul.Haque@savethechildren.org

+880 1713330981 (Cox’s Bazar)

Out-of-hours contact:

Media@savethechildren.org.uk

+44 7831 650 409 (London)