15-year old Rohingya bride Ajida moments before marrying 23-year old Mohammed in an arranged ceremony in Kutupalong—the world’s largest Refugee Camp, Bangladesh. In 2017 the Myanmar military came to Hamsorpara village where Ajida lived, using rocket launchers and machine guns they shot members of her community and burnt down their houses. After narrowly escaping with her parents, they spent the next six days hiding in the jungle and then walked a further four days to cross the Bangladesh border where they took shelter. Two years after the massacre of thousands of innocent people and the mass exodus of nearly a million, the future of the Rohingya people looks no more certain. They have been described as the most marginalised ethnic minority on the planet – Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 2018
Mohammed Ayoub (30), photographed at MOAS aid station, Shamlapur refugee camp. “My life was very bad in Myanmar because of the way the military treated us. We have been tortured for a long time by the government. I used to be a fisherman, often at the end of a long day the soldiers would take my fish from me, saying it was compensation. Twice they beat me unconscious and stole my money. We could not travel out of our villages without permission and they took men and forced them to labour up the mountains for no money. Then one day they came and burnt down my house and killed people from my village with machine guns and rocket launches. I spend everyday here looking for odd jobs trying to make money. I worry for the future of my people, but mostly for the future of my children. I think in five years time nothing will have changed and we will still be stuck in this open prison. Not allowed to enter Bangladesh and not allowed to return home. I am most proud of my boy and his dreams of life” – Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 2018
Mohammed Hossain (75), a Bangladeshi local. “Rohingya are the most persecuted people on earth and they need our help. Before they came we (Bangladeshi’s), had nothing, no doctors, no medicine. People would die from infection and sickness. At least now, because of this terrible crisis, there are health centres that Bangladeshi locals can access as well. We are learning to live in harmony with one another, but this can take time”- Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 2018
A boy collects fire wood in Kutupalong Refugee camp. An environmental consequence of the Rohingya Crisis is the devastating deforestation thats occurred to build the mass settlements. Cooking requires the collection and burning of firewood, further reducing the natural habitat for wildlife in the region – Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 2018
Rohingya Crisis: portrait series
This portrait series documents the faces and stories of refugees who have fled Myanmar for refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh . Seen as ‘open prisons’ the camps are some of the biggest globally and their residents—unable to move into mainland Bangladesh and unwelcome to return home—are stuck between worlds, living in temporary conditions on a seemingly permanent bases. The Rohingya Crisis is a series of ongoing persecutions by the Myanmar government against the Muslim Rohingya people. The genocide has consisted of two phases to-date, the first of which began in October 2016 and ended in January 2017 and the second of which began in August 2017 and is ongoing. The crisis has forced over a million Rohingya to flee to other countries, most to Bangladesh with others going to India, Thailand, Malaysia, and other parts of South and Southeast Asia. Described by the United Nations in 2013 as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, the Rohingya population is denied citizenship under the 1982 Myanmar nationality law. They are also restricted from freedom of movement, state education and civil service jobs.