Since the late 1970s, the stateless Rohingya people have fled persecution and violence to seek refuge in Bangladesh. The Myanmar military’s campaign against the Rohingya in 2017 and the following systematic persecution has led to almost 900,000 Rohingya refugees taking shelter in Cox’s Bazar in what has become the world’s largest displacement camp.
Since arriving in Bangladesh, the Rohingya have known nothing but uncertainty. As Bangladesh does not recognise the Rohingya as refugees, no formal education is allowed and there are few opportunities for work—and there is no safe way to return home to Myanmar. This insecurity has worsened with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced their already limited freedoms and diminished their access to healthcare.
For many Rohingya refugees, the situation feels hopeless, as they continue to live in overcrowded, basic conditions, dealing with outbreaks of disease, and struggling with the traumas of all they have endured.