Narinjara News


Cox’s Bazar,  2 July 2005

High Birth Rate among Burmese Muslim Refugees Worries Bangladeshis

The local Bangladeshi people are worried about the high birth rate among Burmese Muslim refugees living in camps in Cox's Bazaar district of southern Bangladesh.

The local Bengali language newspaper, The Daily Ajker Deshbidesh, reports on 26 June that there are about 20,000 Muslim refugees living in two camps, Nayapara and Kutupalong. Within the camps, there are about 50 children born every month, about 600 a year.

If births continue at this rate, the refugee population in the camps will explode into an unmanageable proportion, said the newspaper.

Within the camps, rationed provisions are provided for everyone, including the children, by the UNHCR. The report claims that the desire to receive more provisions from the UNHCR is driving the birth rate up.

According to
Bangladesh law, a Bangladeshi family can have two children. The government has been urging citizens to adhere to this law, and to only have two children per family. However, families in the refugee camps often have 8 to 12 children per family.

In Kutupalong camp, about 4000 out of the 8500 residents were born in
Bangladesh during the last 14 years.

Since the local people are worried about the high birth rate of refugees within their country, they are calling for the early repatriation of the Burmese Muslim refugees.


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