The roughly one million Rohingya Muslims living in western Rakhine state, Myanmar are no strangers to persecution. The government of this predominantly Buddhist country refuses to give citizenship to this ethnic minority and they have been subjected to extreme forms of discrimination. They are denied voting rights, state education and freedom of movement, and they are not allowed to engage in many forms of work.
Conditions for the Rohingya have deteriorated further over recent months, leading to many deaths and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Following militant attacks on police border posts, a military crackdown was announced by the state. According to UN officials, the Rohingya are now being subjected to collective punishment for the attacks, with the ultimate goal of ethnically cleansing them from Myanmar.
Villages have been burned to the ground, forcing their residents to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh or trapping them in the conflict zones. Men, women and children are being murdered and, according to the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, there is evidence of “mass atrocities”.
Organisations such as aid and development charity Human Appeal, formerly known as Human Appeal International, are currently working to give the Rohingya Muslims essential humanitarian aid. It is helping to provide food, clean water and medical supplies to displaced families who are sheltering in overcrowded camps located on the border with Bangladesh.
As the charity points out, these provisions can make the difference between life and death for the vulnerable people who have been forced to flee their homes, often with nothing but the clothes they are wearing.
Working in partnership with a local aid agency, Human Appeal is also distributing supplies such as blankets, clothes, cooking utensils, mosquito nets, tents and soap.
If you want to do your bit to help the Rohingya Muslims who have been displaced as a result of the ongoing violence and destruction, you can visit the Human Appeal website to read more about what the charity is doing to ease the suffering of these people, and to make a donation to support its important work.
You can also help in other ways. For example, you could take part in fundraisers to generate more money, or even organise your own fundraising event for this worthy cause. You could also help to spread the word about the plight of the Rohingya Muslims to your friends, family and colleagues to encourage them to make donations.