DOHA - Six years have now elapsed since the world watched 700,000 Rohingya flee from Myanmar to Bangladesh in search of safety, writes Aljazeera.
About half of them were children and young people. What was expected to be a short-term refuge has become another protracted crisis.
Those who fled as children have now reached the age of adolescence; those who were teenagers are now adults. Living in the world’s biggest refugee camp, surrounded by barbed-wire fences, Rohingya refugees are blocked from accessing formal education, earning an income, and moving freely through or beyond the camp.
Many of the young Rohingya I have met as part of my work at these camps tell me they feel forgotten by the world. They tell me the barriers between them and the life they want for themselves engulf them with a sense of despair.
They say their voices go unheard and that they have lost the right to dream. This sense of helplessness has a visceral impact on their mental health.
A 2022 survey of 317 refugee youth and adolescents across 11 camps conducted by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found that 96 percent of the respondents were unemployed and that they constantly feel anxious and stressed.