Joint Response Plan

3.43 lakh Rohingya kids in need of protection

17 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

3.43 lakh Rohingya kids in need of protection

As children face "serious protection risks", including psychosocial distress, neglect, abuse, separation from caregivers, sexual violence, child marriage and labour, child protection system will remain a priority in Rohingya camps this year as well, officials said, reports UNB.

Rapid and effective humanitarian action under the leadership of the government of Bangladesh has saved many lives since August 2017 and met critical needs and protected nearly one million Rohingyas, according to UN agencies.

Launched in Geneva on Friday to deal with Rohingya humanitarian crisis, the 2019 Joint Response Plan (JRP) contains a "dedicated objective" to that end, said an official here on Saturday. Steps will be taken in coordination with the Department of Social Services (DSS) to strengthen the child protection system, including linkages to, and improved quality of, government-led service delivery, said the official.

Children represent 55 percent of all Rohingyas of which 343,206 are in need of immediate child protection assistance, according to the JRP.

Rohingya children are experiencing high levels of distress after witnessing extreme violence in Myanmar, as well as being exposed to continued stressful living conditions.

As of October 2018, the JRP reveals, some 6,100 unaccompanied and separated children have been registered and are at heightened risk of child trafficking, abuse and exploitation in the camps.

Girls, who represent a larger proportion (57) of this vulnerable group, are particularly at risk of child marriage, sexual exploitation, abuse and neglect, the JRP mentions. There remains a high need for robust family-based alternative care arrangements for unaccompanied and separated children, as well as family tracing and reunification and the provision of support to foster care families.

While much has been achieved, the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh has not fully stabilised, according to co-chairs of the strategic executive group - UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo, Representative of UNHCR in Bangladesh Steven Corliss and Chief of Mission, IOM Bangladesh Giorgi Gigauri.

The 2019 JRP, according to them, will be the vehicle for mobilising critically needed support for humanitarian response for the Rohingyas.