Children urges foreign ministers at Myanmar meeting to step up pressure to end
Erin Taylor 267-250-8829
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (November 16, 2017)— Chilling
experiences of Rohingya children who fled their homes in Myanmar have been laid
bare in a powerful
new report released by Save the Children today.
I Will Never Forget” paints a disturbing picture of the systematic violence,
rape and forced evictions faced by many of the 600,000 Rohingya who arrived in
Bangladesh since August 25 this year, almost 60 percent of whom are
them is 16-year-old Shadibabiran* who told Save the Children staff in Bangladesh,
“Some soldiers took me and two other girls into a house. They hit me in the
face with a gun, kicked me in my chest and stamped on my arms and legs. Then I
was raped by three soldiers. They raped me for about two hours and at some
stage I fainted.”
soldiers broke one of her ribs, Shadibabiran said. “It was very painful and I
could hardly breathe. I still have difficulty breathing, but I haven’t been to
a doctor as I feel too ashamed.”
Rehema* revealed how she had witnessed a woman and a baby being burned alive.
“I saw a soldier pour gasoline over a heavily pregnant woman. Then he set her
on fire,” she said. “Another soldier ripped a baby from his mother’s arms and
threw him into the fire. His name was Sahab* and he was not even one year old.
I will never forget their screams.”
Hosan* fled his village for Bangladesh after the military started hacking
people with machetes. On the way, Hosan entered an abandoned village hoping to
find some food or water, and eventually came across a reservoir.
I got closer I saw at least 50 dead bodies floating in it. I can’t forget the
smell of the burning houses, or the sight of the bloated bodies. These are
horrors I will never forget,” he said.
the Children staff conducted a range of in-depth interviews with children and
women for the report. Every account painted another picture of horror.
every child we’ve spoken to has seen and experienced things that no
child ever should. They have told us of massacres, multiple rapes and
seeing family members burned alive,” said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of
Save the Children.
more than half of all refugees under the age of 18, this is a children’s
emergency. Many of these children are deeply traumatized by what they have been
through, and are now living somewhere that is no place for a child.”
release of the report comes ahead of a meeting of Foreign Ministers from
Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw Monday
and Tuesday. Save the Children is urging Foreign Ministers at the meeting to
take a stand on the Rohingya crisis and unequivocally condemn the violence that
has been reported over the last months.
plight of the Rohingya people must be front and center of the talks in
Naypyidaw. Nations from around the world must stand together and leverage their
diplomatic influence with Myanmar. Nothing should be off the table; they must
use all financial and diplomatic avenues available to end the crisis and
protect children,” Miles said.
want to see an immediate end to the violence, for perpetrators of this horror
to be brought to justice and for unhindered humanitarian access to be allowed
in northern Rakhine State.
this, we must also rebuild the shattered young lives of Rohingya children. Many
children are deeply distressed. We must ensure that these children receive the
vital care and support they need to recover.”
changed to protect identity
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.