More than a year into the crisis in Cox's Bazar, the number of Rohingya refugees has reached nearly one million, with young girls in Bangladesh refugee camps sold into forced labour accounting for the largest group of trafficking victims, reported the UN Migration Agency (IOM) on Tuesday.
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Violence against women
Young girls sold into forced labour are the largest group of trafficking victims identified by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps. IOM counter-trafficking experts warn that more than a year into a crisis that has seen the number of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar soar to almost a million, more desperate families are sending their young daughters off into dangerous work situations because most households have no other way to earn money in the camps.
A refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan, Taffan Ako fled to Sweden in 1997 with her family. Today she is the Coordinator of One Young World Ambassadors for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and founder of EmpowHERment, an organization that assists women and young girls who have been former ISIS sex slaves or victims of human trafficking. Her foundation finances integration projects for children and women in Europe and in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Sonjida was forced to flee her home and now lives in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. An estimated 693,000 Rohingya have been driven into Bangladesh (as of April 2018). Over half of them are children. A month after arriving at the camp Sonjida got married and now she is pregnant.
Rohingya women living in Bangladesh are developing health problems, missing out on aid and are at greater risk of abuse due to unsafe and unsuitable facilities in many parts of the refugee camps, Oxfam warned today.
“His verbal attacks were merciless,” says Gemila, a 28-year-old Syrian refugee, about her husband. UNFPA Turkey is running safe spaces funded by the European Commission - Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations - ECHO to help survivors of gender-based violence like Gemila.
'SheFighter' Self-Defence Stokes Self-Confidence in Refugee Women Refugee women are at heightened risk for gender-based violence during the difficult experience of forced displacement. In Jordan, one group is getting a chance to learn self-defense a "SheFighter" technique that also focusses on building the women's self-esteem.
Dalia Asinde was married 16 years ago in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She was 22 and in love, she said. But her husband soon became violent - and relentless. She lost count of the beatings, insults and torments he delivered.
Khin Khin shudders when she thinks about walking in the dark from her shelter to the shared toilet. "I never feel safe to go to the toilet at night," she said. In Myanmar, 1.5 million people have no toilet in their home or yard.
Following a visit to Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have settled in makeshift camps, a United Nations envoy has called for enhanced measures to protect and assist victims of sexual violence among the displaced population.