Hundreds of Thousands of ‘Rohingya Children’ at High Risk of Infantile- Mortality, Enslavement and Multiple Disabilities—Coercive Oppressions and Corpus Atrocities Bear the Hallmarks of Hard ‘Genocidal Clamp-down’ —1st Situation Report on ‘Rohingya Children Crisis’, by SAIRI Initiative.
The International Community, UN and E.U.-U.S. Hierarchies Urged to Take a ‘Moral Stand’ amidst the Worsening Situation—SAIRI Post-doc Multiversity for the UN-MDGs Studies!
According to the U.N. data and the statistical annals of other dependable sources, Myanmar’s ethnic minority ‘Rohingya’ constitutes some 1.3 million of the populace of the western Rakhine state of Burma. There they live in an extremely ‘oppressed state’ and are described by the UN and the global human rights watch-out sentinels as—“the most persecuted, beleaguered and oppressed community on the face of earth”.
The U.N. Special Rapporteur on ‘Human Rights in Myanmar’, Yanghee Lee precisely summed- up what she saw last year during her 10-day visit to Rakhine state,” The situation is deplorable..!”,she stated.
And now, this ‘beleaguered and oppressed’ minority of ‘deplorable condition’, is passing through a perpetually worsening ‘ongoing crisis’ of its own nature.
“In the wake of the dreadful, harrowing outrages committed by riot groups in the Rakhine state, thousands of Rohingya children, are extremely prone to infantile mortality, whilst others highly vulnerable to physical and mental disabilities, as well as at starkly potential peril-menaces of enslavement”, states the first situation report on the ‘Rohingya Children Crisis’ by SAIRI Post- doc Multiversity for the United Nations MDGs studies.
The Desolate State of Coercive Oppression:
A ‘three-fringed state of detention’ has been constituted by: 1) the state-managed detention in so- called custodial campsites; 2) the trafficker-run hostage camps; and 3) prison sites contrived and owned by smugglers. Tens of thousands of families have been restrained in this cramped, three- fringed state of confinement where, besides women and the elderly, it is the children who are especially vulnerable to enslavement, with undescribed numbers already having been sold on, notifies the report, which focuses on the children trapped in this emergency situation.
The testimonial document of SAIRI, now calls on the UN, interregional hierarchies and the global community to take a ‘moral stand’ by mounting an urgent response to address the most ‘vulnerable hour’ of this humanitarian emergency.
The Impeded Set-back:
Probing the Actual State of Affairs and Concealment of Data-records
As per the absence, or in certain instances the inaccessibility to non-figurative reliable census, no exact child population figures are available in case of Rohingyas.
It is estimated that well-over 178,000 children belong to the Rohingya minority.
Due to concealed data and obscured information, it is difficult to give precise extents of disease likelihoods and life-threatening odds otherwise, among the children exiled and expatriated at large.
It remains striking as well as surprising here that neither of the international rights groups, nor of the UN agencies including UNICEF, WHO or UNHCR seem to be in position to figure out the exact numbers of the children displaced or those detained in campsites and those at higher degrees of vulnerabilities involving severe health problems or even to certain extent, their existence too.
The only way remained left for an investigator is to integrate the inferential approximations and prognostication appraisals based upon the deductive-impost estimations and the cross-referential considerations.
However, by engaging with and employing the possible means, describes the report:
“After a careful analysis and thorough synthesis of the cross-referential data-statistics obtained from reliable sources, SAIRI’s epidemiological experts find that, the children of these so-called refugees camps are having acute malnutrition rates well-crossing 30 % and hitting 35%, which is far beyond of 15%—the emergency level set by the World Health Organization”.
“The European Community Humanitarian Office, even years ago reported that the area had acute malnutrition rates hitting 23 percent, which was still beyond that of the emergency level declared by WHO”, relates further SAIRI report.
The Desperate Circumstances:
Rohingya people are effectively ‘held confined’ in a ‘state of statelessness’, and hence, are deprived of all kinds of basic civil rights including emergency medical relief, the necessary
provisions of food and water, and other humanitarian aids. The situation escalates and surges to multiplicative factors when it comes to children, the labouring women or in case of disability.
UNICEF describes the situation of chronic and acute mal-nutrition in the Rakhine state, where the Rohingyas are largely inhabited:
Children living in Rakhine are more likely to suffer from chronic malnutrition, more likely to be malnourished than the average Myanmar child, with almost ‘50 per cent of children being stunted’.
They are less likely to attend primary school and less likely to access adequate water and sanitation facilities than children living in other parts of the Union. According to a survey undertaken in 2010, only 12 per cent of children are likely to be born in a health care facility, compared to the national average of 36 per cent.
An estimated number of 13,000 to 20,000 children, are confined into the isolated squalid camps in Rakhine, where, they are sub-humanely dealt with like ‘farm animals’.
Not only are people being denied access to public services but they are ‘effectively’ prevented from leaving the area to seek emergency medical aid, even in the case of women in labour, and children.
In an article describing the Ohn Taw Gyi camp outside Sittwe, wrote Esther Htusan from Japan, “Conditions in the camps, and elsewhere in Rakhine, went from bad to worse after the government expelled their main health lifeline, the Nobel-prize winning Doctors Without Borders. A month later, other humanitarian groups were temporarily evacuated after extremist stormed their residences and offices”.
The food rations the pregnant and lactating women get in camps is very little, and sometimes they even don’t get any at all.
“The first two years of a child’s life, when the brain and body are developing, are critical for physical and mental development. Without adequate nutrition, little babies are prone to stunting, a condition that would be shaping the rest of their lives. As reaching adulthood, they are weaker, prone to illnesses and have limited cognitive capacity”.
In these camps, the children can be seen everywhere with bloated eyes, tiny arms and legs, and with a face and skin that tightly clings to the bones.
The poor victimized women in the camps, after having lost their husbands, and seen their lives ruined, are desperate to save their children, marked further Htusan.
Quite interestingly as well as appallingly, in spite of all what is happening to the poor destitute children, Burma kept on insisting UNICEF officials to ‘apologize’ for using the word Rohingya during a UNICEF’s official briefing in Rakhine, which ‘they did’ under duress.
Rupturing and abolishing of the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography holds lesser importance than the use of word ‘Rohingya’!
It remains also strangely worth noting here that many of the media correspondents and journalists, along with the rights groups’ reporters, are forbidden from entering the victims’ site. In some incidents, numerous media correspondents and investigators have been forced to hand over their cameras and memory cards with a cautionary note that “they would not try to go to these sites again”.
Enormities and Extents of Enslavement:
Some 15,000 to 18,000 younger as well as older children have been resorting to fleeing off Myanmar through the Bay of Bengal in recent months. These flee-offs often take place on over- crowded rickety boats that end up adrift and stranded in the Andaman Sea. There are many recorded incidents of enslavement, with new research revealing the likelihood that tens of hundreds more children either prone to being enslaved or have already been sold as slaves, after having been held hostage and tortured in secret jungle precincts and at other hostage sites.
“The boys are sold for forced-labour and the girls into ‘forced-prostitution’ as sex slaves”, endorse well-informed sources from in and out of the zone-areas.
The situation, reached the extents that, “The smuggling of Rohingya has become a significant industry along Thailand's Andaman coast. It's now said to be more profitable and less dangerous than selling drugs”, asserted Alan Morison and Premkamon Ketsara, since in their reportage published in Phuketwan, Thailand, on the issue
Another 2013’s report description by Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison, published in Phuketwan, Thailand, reveals, “Captive Rohingya are being smuggled out of Thailand in secret in sales deals negotiated between human traffickers and Immigration officials, Phuketwan has been told by well-informed sources”. “Conversations by mobile telephone have also confirmed that traffickers are already offering people for sale at 65,000 baht each”, exposed further the reportage.
After being sold, the girls are brought to brothels, where they are beaten, degraded, tortured and forced into submission for sex activity. Deprivation of food, water and rest are the instruments that are employed for this forced sexual submission. In addition to these instruments, some sex- exploiters introduce ‘drug use or addiction’ for the purpose of gaining an extra control over them and to take them under more of their command.
Adding to the immediate impacts like psychological trauma, an increased loss in ‘personhood’ feelings and a severe damage to an ‘affirmativeness of self’ are among the long-term dejection- bearings, in such victims.
Moreover, besides the sex-slavery trade by the smugglers, it has been noted repetitively, evidently, that, the Burmese army is manifestly involved in trapping the girls into military camps and then forcibly making them ‘sex role-preys’.
Eyewitness ‘testimony evidences’ have been obtained that from International Labour Organization (ILO), that strongly imply that Burmese army is imprisoning Rohingya women and using them as sex slaves in a military camp situated a few kilometers from the town of Sittwe.
The Circumstantial Background:
In the wake of dreadful inter-ethnic violence, sparked by decades-long communal hatred that was left to simmer, and eventually re-igniting in 2012, an outrageous wave of mass atrocities sparked and engulfed the entire western Rakhine state of Burma, where a major populace of the 1.3 million Rohingya are inhabited. A wave of hate-speech incited the riot groups to set fire not only the homes, shops and yards, but to complete towns, and even in certain instances, entire villages of Rohingyas were reportedly set-fired and burned to the ground.
The abjuration and contempt of basic human rights across the state has transversely and diagonally well-reached all of the possible extents of a ‘genocidal ethnic annihilation’, that;
inhumane massacres, sexual assaults, systematic use of rape, street riots, urban brawling, merciless blood-butcheries, arbitrary arrests (probably culminating in unlawful killings), tedious domestic violence, looting of shops as well as homes, sequential kidnapping, forced labour, and mind-numbing street barbarisms are now well-documented in the U.N. data-records and the statistic-annals of other rights groups and dependable sources including Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, Simon-‐Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, Médecins Sans Frontières, U.S. Refugees International, and the BROUK.
Academically viewed, the circumstances in totality, bear, from an end to end all of the major hallmarks of a complete ‘De-humanizing Genocidal Ethnic Clamp-down’, endorses SAIRI in under the referential-codes, principles indicator mark-frames laid out by the UN.
The Statistical Risk Assessments (S.R.A.) carried out by the Early Warning Project, Washington, that closely works with the Dickey Center for International Understanding based at Dartmouth College, clearly reflects that Burma (Myanmar) lands starkly at the multiplicative highest of the global ranking, through a combination of important predictors that anticipate the onset of state-led mass killing in a year or so, by employing a set of statistical models, which, methodologically entail three different perspectives while hedging against the biases of any one of them.
Logically and consequentially, in result of being tough-surrounded by an ‘ongoing and ever- worsening state of affairs’ all around, after getting their homes burned down and heads and
body-parts smashed in streets by state-backed marauding gangs and venomously xenophobic riot groups, an adverse state of dispersion and scattering started to take place parting thousands of families smattered around. People vied to avail every least chance of escaping from the ‘genocidal clampdown’.
Finding themselves caught in a ‘can’t-live-can’t-leave’ situation, many feel they are left with no option other than to risk their lives in perilous exodus, ignorant of whether they would end up as an ‘object of prey’ for the traffickers or a ‘subject of collateral damage onslaught’ for the naval security forces.
The people of this long-suffering oppressed minority, finally, have begun to flee in haphazard way, to end with.
More often than not, the frenzy situation take-offs and the haphazard nature of fleeing-off comes up with randomized hit-or-miss instances. Here too, the haphazard fleeing is leaving many children separated from their parents and desperately alienated from everything that is familiar to them or they are acquainted with.
“Among this long-suffering minority and destitute populace there are disable children, those who have lost their parents or been detached from their siblings or relatives,” notes the SAIRI’s P.I. in the report.
Ireland’s eminent analyst, researcher and human-rights defender Mary Lawlor marks in her report on Rohingya’s ongoing persecution issue:
“The world is aghast at the fact that up to 8000 members of the Rohingya people of Myanmar have ended up adrift in leaky overcrowded boats having to fight for food and being forced to drink their own urine.
They have been shipped from port to port while the governments of Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh argue over who is responsible for them and the government of Myanmar acts as if the problem is nothing to do with it.
The real scandal is that almost 1 million people can be denied their right to citizenship in Myanmar and held in what are effectively prison camps under armed guard…….The roads in and out of the camps are blocked by armed guards and the Rohingya cannot leave the area even to seek medical help for women going into labour”, asserts Mary Lawlor, the Berlin’s human- rights defender.
Global Community’s Moral Outlook:
Esther Htusan noted and mentioned it in a very realistic way:
“Despite occasional expressions of concern, the U.S., Britain and others in the international community have largely stood by as conditions for the Rohingya deteriorated”.
“Some ambassadors and donor countries say privately that coming down too hard on the new, nominally civilian government will undermine efforts to implement sweeping reforms and note there has already been a dramatic backslide. Others don’t want to jeopardize much-needed multibillion dollar development projects in the country.
But their hesitancy to act has emboldened Burma extremists, now dictating the terms of aid distribution in Rakhine”.
The ‘Fact-In-Existence’ and ‘Need-of-the-Hour’:
Dr. Maung Zarni, a Burmese analytical expert and research fellow at London School of Economics, describes the situation as ‘Neo-Nazism’ being demonstrated by hatemongers. He has explicitly named the manifestations as ‘Hitlerian Tactics’, which are being administered to ‘purify’ the country by getting rid of the Rohingyas, according to Dr. Maung.
Migrant Rohingyas and the ethnically Burmese Rohingyas—all of them are considered leeches in our society at the same pattern as during the 3rd Reich when Nazism was taking its roots.
“There is a parallel between what we saw in Nazi Germany and what we are seeing today in Burma”, says Dr. Maung quite cautiously.
The entire race of Rohingyas would be massacred if the world doesn’t respond, believes Maung in conjunction with the opinion of many other experts.
Dell Cameron also conveyed it quite sensibly, “Without a doubt, Rohingyas are a persecuted population in a situation which deserves a higher degree of attention from the international community”.
“What's happening in Burma is an abomination, and the world has turned a blind eye. It's been one of the worst places on Earth for several decades…”,maintained Cameron in Vice on Rohingya issue.
Very apt, pertinent and propos was the statement, that was voiced by the operational adviser of Holland-based ‘Doctors Without Borders’,Reshma Adatia:
“It’s important for foreign governments and international actors to really push that access to essential humanitarian assistance is required, and it’s required today,” she said. “We’re talking about hundreds of thousands that are at risk right now,” voiced Adatia well-ago but it applies still!
Concluding Finale and the Supplication Plea:
SAIRI, by means of the present report-testimony, hereby supplicates to the collective conscience of the world that:
“These effectively ‘stateless’ and ‘restless’ entities—the Rohingyas and their children - are on their knees before the collective conscience of the world—the international community—the UN, the governments and the entire humanity.
These glimmering flowers are being converted to dusky coffins, floating on the Andaman Sea.
The world has become a global village; we are all inhabitants of the same planet to which they belong, and— upon which they are being persecuted, thrashed and beleaguered—their homes being burned down—their heads being smashed on roads—their bodies being ruined and crumpled in streets—their small children being enslaved—their women being made sex-slaves— and, due to the unapproachability and inaccessibility to food and water they are forced to drink their own urine to survive...!!! They are like us all—their lives are as precious as our lives—their small babies are as our own small kids—the children that are now on their knees ‘begging-for- their-lives’ are not, but like ours…!!!
And, if by now, we fail, therefore, to respond at this vulnerable hour, or if the global community continues to shy away from taking a ‘moral stand’, there can be no more justifiable reason for the pursuit of a humane society or for persisting and sticking to even the least realms of humaneness”, pleads SAIRI’s principal investigator, Professor Qadhi Aurangzeb Al Hafi.
“We have to strive for a ‘principal resolve’ of the ‘Rohingya Children Crisis’ as a ‘Moral Imperative’—if not a legal requisite,” urges and presages categorically Prof. Qadhi A.Z. Al Hafi.
Qadhi Aurangzeb Al Hafi’s name is no stranger to any state of affairs, when it comes to moral and humane convictions. Incontestably, the epitome watch-word 'Aurangzeb Al-Hafi' has always stood for raising sane, courageous and upright voice, at the critical most junctures of the our era's considerations.
Professor Dr. Al Hafi has long been working for children in disastrous emergencies and cataclysmic situations. Dr. Aurangzeb Hafi was the prime investigatory head of the projects concerning the disabled population of refugee camps in Sri Lanka, following the Asian Tsunami of 2004. He also maintained technical liaisons with the UN and other concerned quarters thereof.
References and Further Readings: www.un.org/…tgenocide/adviser/pdf/osapg_analysis...