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• OIC hails Maldives' decision to intervene at ICJ for Rohingya
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Report: Mohammed Idris Abdullah
Topic: Recruiting males as role models to prevent gender-based violence
Translation summary: In Bangladesh, gender-based violence is “one of the most prevalent forms of human rights violations against women and girls,” the United Nations Population Fund says. It’s all too common in Rohingya refugee camps, where females are restricted by patriarchal attitudes and vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
In Kutupalong’s Camp 7, BRAC (Building Resources across Communities) and four other groups are trying to prevent such violence. Among the camp’s 40,000 residents, more than half (52%) are female, but men and boys also are vulnerable. A BRAC worker says some Rohingyas marry off their young daughters to men in India and Malaysia, believing that the girls will be safer outside a camp or that they will have few other marriage prospects.
Mohammed Shelim is an officer with BRAC’s sexual violence prevention and response project in Camp 7. The project has recruited 25 young Rohingya men as role models, training them on how to treat females respectfully and build healthy relationships. Recruits can take advantage of BRAC’s indoor and outdoor facilities for sports such as football, volleyball and cane ball (Myanmar’s national game). The project offers roughly 30 awareness sessions a week for males.
Report: Mohammed Rukon Uddin (Stringer)
Topic: A Kutupalong Camp 2 shopkeeper discusses business challenges.
Translation summary: Qurban Ali came to Cox’s Bazar in August 2017 from Mayanmar, where he had lived in Maungdaw township’s Kuanchiaprong village. Within months, he opened a small shop – selling bottled drinks, chips, biscuits, cigarettes, betel leaf and more – to help support himself and eight relatives.
“We can’t manage to live” on the basic humanitarian aid of rice, lentils and oil provided to the Rohingya refugees, said Ali, 26. In Myanmar, he was a fisherman who saved some of his catch to feed the family and sold the rest.
In Kutupalong, Ali got permission to open the shop. He invested 10,000 takas, worth $117, on items to stock the shelves. His modest profits start at about 50 takas, or almost 60 cents, a day. “That enables me to buy some extra food” or other things for the family.
Ali estimates the camp has roughly 300 other shops. VOA could not confirm the number.
His shop is a gathering place for youths. “They play cards for their recreation as they have nothing [else] to do,” Ali said.
The conversation turned to telecommunications and the Bangladesh government’s decision in September to block 3G and 4G mobile internet access to the Rohingya camps.
Now, “the network connection is too weak and [there is] no internet connection here in the camp,” he said. “Previously, we used to listen various world news. Now we can’t listen to that.”