Stopping rations for children in Refugee camps

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The standing committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recommended stopping rations for refugee children after the first two birth, after visiting to the Kutupalong  refugee camp on August 17and 18, according to refugees.
The panel members also said that the problem is getting worse as the Burmese Rohingyas are outnumbering more than the locals with each passing day.

Besides, a parliamentary panel has recommended special birth control measures for Rohingya refugee families in Bangladesh who want bigger family members to secure more rations.

Children born from the families get full rations after birth, in the camps, according to sources.

After stopping the rations for the children, refugees are facing many difficulties to feed their children. As a result, parents are sending their children to the local villages as labor with an agreement to pay monthly salary and not to harass them too much. This caused them deprivation of their education rights, said a refugee leader from the camp preferring not to be named.

Bangladesh government estimates around 30,000 Rohingyas are currently staying in the two camps—Nayapara and Kutupalong, in Cox’s Baza. But it is believed that around half a million undocumented Rohingyas are staying in Bangladesh.

Burma has ignored repeated calls by Bangladesh to take back its citizens and the
illegal Rohingyas are involved with various criminal activities, the Bangladesh government official said.

Parliamentary panel’s Chief Ms Nilufar Zafar Ullah, Foreign Minister Ms Dipu Moni, and committee member Ms Nazma Akter visited the Rohingya camps to see for themselves the problem on ground.

The committee on Sept 18 submitted a report to the concerned authority. It says the number of Rohingyas is increasing in comparison to the locals.

Each registered refugee gets 12 kg rice per month. They are not interested in birth control as a child gets full ration from the day it is born. Panel members found families with as many 18 members.

Ms Nilufer Zafar Ullah said the Rohingya population was on the rise since they get ration.

“One of the problems is their outnumbering the locals and so, birth control measures have been recommended,” she said.

According to the report, 58 percent of 30,000 Rohingyas at the two camps were born in Bangladesh. There are 23 schools and many children have been studying.

Emphasizing on the repatriation of the Rohingyas, Ms Nilufer said, the refugees wanted to go back to their country. She said stakeholders had been asked to hold talks to send them back to Burma.

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