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更新时间:2018-1-7 10:35:08 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Rohingya Children Facing ‘Massive Mental Health Crisis’

BALUKHALI, Bangladesh — Jehora Begum was a fast runner, racing through rice paddies and splashing through canals.

孟加拉巴鲁卡里难民营——婕霍拉·贝甘(Jehora Begum)跑得很快,她飞奔过稻田,趟过了水渠。

But how can a 12-year-old girl outrun a bullet?


When Myanmar’s military and Buddhist vigilantes descended on Rohingya Muslim villages in late August, burning homes and spraying gunfire, 14 members of Jehora’s family — including her mother, her father and four of her siblings — couldn’t run quickly enough.


They all died, according to witnesses and human rights groups investigating the massacre in Maungdaw Township.


Jehora was shot as she waded through a canal, the bullet lodging near her pelvis. Still, she and her younger brother, Khairul Amin, made it to safety in southeastern Bangladesh, where refugee camps now house far more Rohingya than remain in their homeland in Rakhine State in Myanmar.

婕霍拉中枪时正趟过一条水渠,子弹打进了她的骨盆附近。尽管如此,她和弟弟海鲁尔·阿明(Khairul Amin)还是抵达了孟加拉国东南部的安全地点,那里的难民营现在安置的罗辛亚人,远远比留在缅甸若开邦故乡的人多。

“I have nightmares that the military is chasing me,” Jehora said. “I wake up, and I think of my parents, and then I stay awake for a long time.”


Of the more than 655,000 Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh since the Myanmar military began its crackdown in late August, around 380,000 are minors, according to Save the Children, the international aid organization. At least 30 percent of the refugee population is younger than 5.

据国际救援组织“救助儿童会”(Save the Children)称,在八月下旬缅甸军方的镇压开始后逃至孟加拉国的逾65.5万罗辛亚人中,大约有38万是未成年人。至少有30%的难民不到5岁。

The prospects of these young refugees, say child development experts, are grim.


“What we’re seeing is the perfect breeding ground for a massive mental health crisis for children,” said Lalou Rostrup Holdt, a mental health adviser for Save the Children.

“我们眼前所见是重大儿童心理危机滋生的完美温床,”救助儿童会的心理健康咨询师拉卢·罗斯特拉普·霍尔特(Lalou Rostrup Holdt)说道。

“You have trauma on a huge scale, children seeing brutal killings and being forced to leave home with nothing,” Holdt said. “You have hunger. You also have significant developmental delays due to malnutrition and understimulation that predate the recent trauma. It’s absolutely devastating for an entire community.”


Holdt, who has been working in the camps for two months, said that many Rohingya children are living in a state of near constant “fight or flight” arousal, a hyperstressed condition that can change the architecture of their brains.


Yet the children who made it to the camps are the lucky ones. Doctors Without Borders estimates that at least 730 Rohingya children younger than 5 were killed in Myanmar between late August and late September, mostly by gunshot, according to a survey released in December. Nearly 10 percent of those children were burned in their homes, while 5 percent were beaten to death.

但能抵达难民营的孩子已算得上幸运。根据一个12月发布的调查,无国界医生(Doctors Without Borders)估计在八月下旬至九月下旬期间,至少有730名不到5岁的罗辛亚儿童在缅甸被杀害,且大多死于枪击。其中,将近10%的儿童被烧死在家中,5%被殴打致死。

The international medical charity cautioned that its estimate was conservative and probably understated the true mortality figures.


Although the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar say they will proceed with a voluntary repatriation scheme in the coming weeks, there is little enthusiasm among Rohingya refugees for returning to the site of what Western governments have labeled ethnic cleansing.


The Myanmar government has stripped most Rohingya of citizenship and considers them to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.


The likelihood, then, is that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya children will grow up both stateless and homeless — an untethered life of displacement that bodes ill for a people already wounded by decades of military persecution in Rakhine State.


“There have been other recent crises in places like Congo where children saw their families slaughtered or mothers being raped,” said Benjamin Steinlechner, a spokesman for UNICEF in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. “But the scale of what has happened with the Rohingya is so much greater than what we’ve seen in other places. We have no idea how all these children are going to process this trauma.”

“在刚果这些地方近来也有一些危机,会让孩子们看到家人被屠杀,母亲被强奸,”联合国儿童基金会(UNICEF)驻孟加拉国科克斯巴扎尔的发言人本杰明·施泰因莱希纳(Benjamin Steinlechner)说。“但罗辛亚人事件的规模远远大于我们在别处所见。我们不知道所有这些孩子将如何处理这个创伤。”

For now, aid workers in the camps in Bangladesh are preoccupied with more immediate matters of life and death.


UNICEF says that 7 percent of children in the camps are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, a condition from which they will die unless they get proper care. That figure is three times higher than in other recent humanitarian emergencies.


The longer-term consequences for Rohingya children are nearly as daunting. Chronic malnutrition stunts not only physical growth but intellectual development as well. Few youth in the camps have any idea how old they are.


Most children who fled to Bangladesh experienced significant trauma, whether witnessing relatives being killed or waiting for military raids to engulf their villages. Even hearing stories about massacres, a common currency in refugee camps, brings its own distress.


“When we got to Bangladesh, my grandmother described how my parents had been chopped to death,” said Mohammed Ismail, 13, most of whose family members were killed in a village in northern Maungdaw Township, according to fellow villagers. “I can never forget what she told me.”

“到达孟加拉国后,我奶奶说过我的父母是怎么被砍死的,”13岁的穆罕默德·伊斯梅尔(Mohammed Ismail)说。“我永远无法忘记她告诉我的事情。”据同村村民说,伊斯梅尔的大部分家人都在孟都镇(Maungdaw Township)北部的一个村子里遇害了。

And the suffering began long before the latest military campaign. For years now, most Rohingya children in Rakhine had no access to government health care or schools. College is all but out of the question.


Shut out of the state education system, some Rohingya children attended private madrassas in Rakhine instead. But after Rohingya insurgents attacked Myanmar security posts last year, soldiers forced the closure of many of those Islamic schools as well.


“If we cannot teach Islam to our children, then we have nothing left to pass on to them,” said Said Hossein, an imam whose mosque in the town of Taung Bazar was shut down by the military.

“如果不能把伊斯兰教给孩子,那我们就没有什么可以传给他们了,”身为伊玛目的赛义德·侯赛因(Said Hossein)说。他在同巴扎(Taung Bazar)镇的清真寺被军方关闭。

Two weeks after he arrived in Bangladesh, Hossein opened a temporary mosque in Balukhali by binding stalks of bamboo with a piece of tarpaulin. Between prayer times, he is teaching children again.


But experts on Islamic militancy in Bangladesh worry that some of these makeshift schools, which have received funding from both local and Middle Eastern extremist groups, could become centers of religious radicalism or Rohingya militancy.


Today, at least 5,600 households in the Bangladesh camps are headed by children who arrived unaccompanied by adult family members, according to the U.N. refugee agency.


Even in families with a mother or father, a high birthrate — it is not uncommon for Rohingya to have six or seven children — means that parents struggle to feed their families.


To survive, some have begun offloading their girls to work as maids for middle-class Bangladeshis, or in the local garment industry.


“Children and adolescents are super vulnerable to being trafficked, whether for sexual exploitation or for household work,” said Steinlechner of UNICEF. “Right now we are still busy delivering aid, but we are aware that trafficking is happening under our noses.”