Women and children who are survivors of sexual violence are among the most vulnerable and marginalised of the more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, requiring specialised support and women and girls may not come forward due to the risk of stigmatisation and additional persecution.
“It is impossible to know the true number of babies who have been or will be born as a result of sexual violence,” added Mr Beigbeder. “But it is vital that each and every new and expectant mother and every new-born receive all the help and support they need.”
Of all babies born in the camps since September, only about 3,000 – or 1 in 5 – were delivered in health facilities, said Unicef.
According to Human Rights Watch, more than 650,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape mass killings, sexual violence, arson, and other abuses amounting to crimes against humanity since August 2017, when the military launched a large-scale ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya Muslim population in Rakhine State.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday wars, other violence and persecution displaced 68.5 million people worldwide by the end of 2017.
The number of displaced people reached a new high in 2017 for the fifth year in a row, led by the crisis in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan’s war, and the flight into Bangladesh from Myanmar of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, the UNHCR said in its annual Global Trend.