• Rohingya is an ethnic group which inhabits in the north of the Birman state of Arakan. A few months ago the conflict between the Buddhist Arakans and Muslim Rohingya, considered illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, broke out. Although many of the Muslims have been living here for generations, the Buddhists still consider them intruders who came to take over the “Holy land”.
    About 30,000 Rohingya are currently vegetating in camps all over Bangladesh, with new people coming every day. The camps are overcrowded, the refugees live in makeshift huts without electricity and a limited supply of water. Illiteracy is widespread. Due to their unofficial refugee status these people have no medical care, which means that even minor illnesses can cause death. Disease is common, mortality is high.
    According to Human Rights Watch, the conditions in the camp are more desperate than in any other area where the organization is active.
    -This is no life – says Shaufiq Alam, 30, from Kutupalong refugee camp – I've been living here for 20 years. If I'd stayed in my village, I would at least have had access to education. The situation in the camp has had a destructive influence on our lives.
    UNHCR tries to teach the refugees crafts they might find useful in later life – carpentry, tailoring and making soap. Some of the refugees can make money by distributing food rations among the other inhabitants of the camp. However, they earn only $22, which is not enough to feed a family.
    The photographs were taken in the Kutupalong and Shaplapour camps on the Myanmar-Bengali border.
  • Artur Gutowski
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