Rohingya rape victims

  • Don’t treat as collateral damage
- DAWN

May 21, 2018-

As a weapon of war, rape is used to orchestrate sexual violence as a way to impose the most extreme humiliation on victims. In August last year, a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign by Myanmar’s army displaced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya from Rakhine state. Extensive testimonies from survivors sheltering in Bangladesh’s refugee camps described the systemic rape and killings. Among the many rape victims are those whose babies will be born this month, according to aid groups preparing for a spate of births and abandoned infants. With most women hiding their pregnancies fearing the stigma, humanitarian agencies warn of an imminent ‘child protection crisis’. Survivors must receive medical and psychological assistance so that children already born in these circumstances, or those who will be in the next few weeks, are not discarded as ‘rape’ babies. This is because women’s lives and bodies have been perceived for too long as acceptable collateral damage in conflict. For this to end, justice and restitution are imperative.

Published: 21-05-2018 07:18

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