It is practically impossible to talk about the Rohingya people without mentioning their current state of persecution. However, before we even try to dissect the reason behind their current persecution, let’s cast a rare light upon who these people really are.
Who are the Rohingya people?
The Rohingya people are a group of people whose origin is traced back to Arakan in Asia, where they are believed to have settled since the 9th century. They are a Muslim race referred to also as Arakanese Muslims, though there is a minority among them who are Hindus. However, much as they may have settled there a long time ago, there was only a recorded 1 million Rohingya people in Myanmar (formerly Burma) by 2016.
Due to the fact that they are a minority group that is not wanted in its own origin country, the Rohingya have no basic source of income. The Myanmar government actually restricts them from getting stable jobs like working in the civil service. They survive by whatever means they can, doing hard labor tasks for little pay. To add insult to injury, Rohingya have no access to health care or even education. The only kind of education that Rohingya children receive is during madrassa classes in mosques. The freedom of worship appears to be the only freedom they enjoy.
Current population of Rohingya
The population of Rohingya people is quite small, especially in their home country. This is mainly because of the level of persecution they have faced which has killed a huge number of them since 1978 to date. Besides the military crackdowns that have been the major reason behind the low population, such human factors as poor health, child mortality and frustration have played a big role in reducing the population of Rohingya people in Myanmar.
Since the first crackdown, the Rohingya have been migrating to neighboring countries in search of refuge. As such, they have left footprints in such countries as Bangladesh, which is recorded to hold around 900,000 Rohingya currently. Other countries like Saudi Arabia (200,000), Thailand (100,000), Pakistan (200,000), India (40,000) and Indonesia with almost 12,000 Rohingya people in their population.
One among the restrictions placed upon the Rohingya in Burma is movement, meaning that all of the ones who have moved to other countries to seek solitude are actually going against the law in Myanmar. However, many would rather prefer to :
Risk breaking the law and live than stay behind and die.
Why are the Rohingya being persecuted?
There is no apparent or even legal reason as to why the Rohingya are being treated with such level of cruelty by the Myanmar government. The fight against Rohingya tribe goes as far back as before Burma gained independence in 1948. We see M.A Gaffar, an Arakanese Indian who had been elected to be part of the Constituent Assembly of Burma, fighting for the Rohingya people to be recognized as part of the Arakanese based on the fact that the term Rohingya was drawn from two Arakan names; Rohan and Rohang. This clearly did not bear much fruit as they are still not taken to be part of the eight ethnic races in Myanmar.
How To Donate To Help Rohingya Refugees
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):