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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 942;

Trapped in Statelessness: Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB), School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle (UON), Newcastle 2308, Australia
Mercycorps, Pak Palace, Murree Road, Rawal Chowk, Islamabad 45510, Pakistan
Newcastle Law School, Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle (UON); Newcastle 2308, Australia
School of Medicine and Public Health, the University of Newcastle (UON), Newcastle 2308, Australia
WentWest Limited, Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WSPHN), Sydney 2148, Australia
Centre for Health and Development (CHAD), Dhaka 1219, Bangladesh
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney 2052, Australia
Center for Health Disparities (CHD), Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University (ECU), Greenville, NC 27834, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 19 August 2017 / Published: 21 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [269 KB, uploaded 22 August 2017]


The Rohingya people are one of the most ill-treated and persecuted refugee groups in the world, having lived in a realm of statelessness for over six generations, and who are still doing so. In recent years, more than 500,000 Rohingyas fled from Myanmar (Burma) to neighboring countries. This article addresses the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh, with special emphasis on the living conditions of this vulnerable population. We reviewed several documents on Rohingya refugees, visited a registered refugee camp (Teknaf), collected case reports, and conducted a series of meetings with stakeholders in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. A total of 33,131 registered Rohingya refugees are living in two registered camps in Cox’s Bazar, and up to 80,000 additional refugees are housed in nearby makeshift camps. Overall, the living conditions of Rohingya refugees inside the overcrowded camps remain dismal. Mental health is poor, proper hygiene conditions are lacking, malnutrition is endemic, and physical/sexual abuse is high. A concerted diplomatic effort involving Bangladesh and Myanmar, and international mediators such as the Organization of Islamic Countries and the United Nations, is urgently required to effectively address this complex situation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rohingya refugee; statelessness; Bangladesh; Myanmar Rohingya refugee; statelessness; Bangladesh; Myanmar
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Milton, A.H.; Rahman, M.; Hussain, S.; Jindal, C.; Choudhury, S.; Akter, S.; Ferdousi, S.; Mouly, T.A.; Hall, J.; Efird, J.T. Trapped in Statelessness: Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 942.

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