Save the Children International CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt on Saturday said the international community, the United Nations and the UN Security Council must continue giving attention to the Rohingya crisis, even in the coming weeks and months to find a solution to it.
“This is an international problem. That has to be dealt with as an international problem,” Helle, also former Prime Minister of Denmark, told a press conference urging the international community not to divert their attention from the issue.
She said though there has been so much generosity and understanding for the situation it is impossible for government of Bangladesh to deal with the situation alone.
“The international community has to take this responsibility and help Bangladesh government assist these children,” Helle said mentioning the pledging conference to be held in Geneva on Oct 23.
“What’s happening in Myanmar is of course not acceptable,” said the Save the Children CEO.
She appreciated that the global community has taken a quite farm action also in communicating with Myanmar and sending stronger message.
Helle, however, said the best solution to the crisis is to make sure that Rohingyas go back to Myanmar voluntarily and with dignity through a peaceful approach.
On Thursday, Save the Children warned that overcrowding, a lack of schooling and widespread desperation among the Rohingya in camps and makeshift settlements in Bangladesh are putting children at an alarming risk of exploitation and abuse.
“There’re huge child protection concerns in the camps. A lot of desperate, hungry children are running around alone in crowded, chaotic settings where anything could happen,” said Carolyn Miles, the President and CEO of Save the Children.
“It’s a child protection disaster waiting to happen. This kind of situation leaves children who’ve already seen and experienced things that no child should ever see at a hugely increased risk of exploitation like trafficking, sexual abuse and child labour.
Many of the social networks that protected children back home in Myanmar have not had time to form in the camps yet, which puts children at risk,” Miles said.
“One of the best ways we can protect children in this situation is to get them into classrooms; a safe space where they can learn, and can also benefit from things like psychosocial support and hygiene promotion. In a crisis like this, education is incredibly important for children.”
She visited Cox’s Bazar on Friday and saw the Rohingya situation on the ground. Helle also shared her experience of visiting Rohingyas at the press conference.