Life in a Refugee Camp Essay

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Refugees are those who, are taken out of their own country forcibly before reasons such as for religious or ethnic cleansing. Bangladesh has been on the receiving end of refugees for a long time. However, in the past 2 years, the amount increased in unbelievable numbers. The government of Bangladesh displayed enough generosity in providing shelter to the Rohingya from Myanmar. Nevertheless, Myanmar showed no interest in taking back the refugees. According to Fox News, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stated a peaceful solution for the 1.1 million refugees crisis in Bangladesh. Moreover, pointed out Myanmar for the genocide, which led the refugees to settle in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The Rohingyas might have found a temporary settlement but internal and well as external problems surrounded them.

In Bangladesh, along with citizens, the refugees too face problems, especially women and children. The outside world still in 2019 had been not a safe place for women and children, the refugee camp proved no different. Even inside the camp, advantage of their vulnerability is taken. This paper will discuss the issue of protection of women and children from violence in the refugee camps.

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The camps may have been a place for the refugees to settle but still unsafe, especially for the women and children. They are the ones easy to target and cause harm for example: rape, sex trafficking, child trafficking etc. Along with this violence, the most common type of violence they face every day is gender-based violence. The spreading of patriarchal dominance has been all over the place including in the camps. The women are often beaten by the male figures of the family unable to prevent it because in Bangladesh domestic violence is not considered as a crime and the government is less bothered to discuss the issue. The female citizens who are the victims of the hideous crime are not being to open up or receive justice, it is impossible to think a woman in a refugee camp will be able to prevent strongly. With domestic violence comes rape and sexual assault, which unfortunately should never be but has become a part of their life. According to a report by UNHCR, “Refugees report that male family members have been falsely accused and detained to enable others to abuse their female daughters and/or wives and force them into marriages against their will. Rape and sexual abuse of women in detention is also a prevalent protection problem” (Bangladesh: Analysis of Gaps in the Protection of Rohingya Refugees, 21). Therefore, there is zero safety for women who are suffering and becoming a victim of thousands of lustful male gazes. Adding to it, even sometimes to take revenge on male members, women are the means to fulfill that revenge through rape and kidnapping. It can be seen clearly that in every situation women are being used as tools as they are thought weak and vulnerable.

However, the people who are responsible for ensuring safety are the ones responsible for the crimes. One of the reasons is the lack of humanitarian assistance, creating scopes to earn profit from sexual labor, especially from the local police or even the camp personnel. As they have the higher power, women are bound to have survival sex or else might end up in jail with a false accuse. Not being afforded protection from rape and sexual abuse leads to pregnancy but most dangerously to HIV/AIDS, which increases health issues in the camps.

Children are another sector, open to violence and crimes due to unhealthy and unsafe environments. According to the UNHCR report

Children and adolescents (under the age of 18) comprise 56% of the total refugee population in the camps. A relatively significant number of them (2,461 as of January 2007) are not registered as many were born after the 1992 registration or to unregistered parents living in the camps. Although recently profiled by UNHCR, these children have not yet been formally recognized by the GoB (21)

As the children are not registered, are deprived of every single facility camp authorities have to offer especially food. Firstly the children are deprived of a healthy surroundings but now addition to that is food which leads to massive malnutrition. Along with food, other necessities such as education snatched away from them. Without proper education, children are easily manipulated to join gangs that are engaged in serious crimes, as they are unaware of the good and bad. Moreover, with food and education, mental and physical health are also important which they will receive through outdoor activities. It will help them to develop skills, which are needed in life such as communication skills, sportsmen spirit etc. Education, affiliated with sports is necessary for mental growth. On the other hand, it might help them divert their little fragile minds to engaging in productive work rather than being exploited in the crime world. However, stating that areas for productive practice, unfortunately, are less and exploitation more. According to an article by UNICEF, “Older children and adolescents who are deprived of opportunities to learn or make a living are at real risk of becoming a “lost generation”, ready prey to traffickers and those who would exploit them for political or other ends (Rohingya Crisis). Not only small children but also older ones are made targets for trafficking such as sex trafficking, organ trafficking, females in prostitution, etc. The older children are easier to catch as victims to exploit via money. They are brainwashed with thousands of opportunities and handsome amounts of money through crimes, which might solve their problems and provide a good life. Nevertheless, in reality, they step on traps from which are not able to get themselves out easily without losing their lives. In addition, this unfortunate situation displays a negative picture of the host country.

In areas like refugee camps, one of the solutions could be more humanitarian assistance with a strong and honest motive. People representing the government mechanism are strictly systemized, as mostly they are ones earning profits illegally, and if caught punished severely. Organizations holding different events and permanent systems for health, education, activities for life skills, etc should be on a regular basis with strong accountable policies.

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Life in a Refugee Camp Essay. (2024, February 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
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