Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
Object Name: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
Caption: Fifteen years ago, more than 250,000 Rohingya Muslims fled from Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar to Bangladesh, pushed out of their own land by discrimination, violence and forced labour practices carried out by the Myanmar authorities. Over the years, most of them have been returned to Myanmar while others have continued to come.
Today the problem still remains on the Bangladeshi side of the border: more than 26,000 refugees who refused to go back, remain in the two official camps of Kutupalong and Nayapara, south of Cox's Bazaar, and an unknown number of Rohingya are living in the Teknaf area, near the border with Myanmar.
Over 7500 live in the squalid makeshift Tal camp and around 2200 on the beach area of Shamlapur. A minority of them have managed to integrate into Bengali society. Some of these people have returned after being repatriated and other new people continue to arrive.
From bad … to worse
For those unregistered people scattered across the Teknaf region, it is very hard: they survive doing hard work for little money and must constantly fight for access to basic things such as food, water and healthcare.
Tal camp, as it is commonly called, consists of small ramshackle shelters situated in an area between the river Naf and the highway leading to the city of Cox's Bazaar. More than 7,500 Rohingya men, women and children have sought refuge on a stretch of land 800 meters long and 30 meters wide, where food and potable water are scarce and access to the local healthcare facilities is limited. Since May 2006, MSF has run a clinic near Tal camp to improve the hygiene and health conditions there.
J. came to the MSF clinic with her two premature twins. She is only 18-years-old and got married eight months ago, but her husband later left her. He already had another wife and refused to look after J. and her babies. In March, she was evicted from her shelter by the authorities because it was located too close to the road. Now she lives by begging.
Credit: Eddy van Wessel