British Red Cross and Charities at Work
British Red Cross and Charities at Work

Female Survivors in World's Largest Refugee Camp

After a surge of violence in Myanmar, over 700,000 people have been forced to flee their homes with nothing. Families endured treacherous journeys, and many lost loved ones along the way. Those who survived are now living in the world's largest refugee camp, much of which was destroyed in the recent monsoon season.

Meet Minara. Minara is one of the survivors of the violence in Myanmar. She was heavily pregnant with her first child on the day her village was attacked. 


 © A J Ghani/British Red Cross

"We knew they were coming. At around midnight, we heard them shouting, then we could hear the shots"

Minara ran for safety with her family, as her village burnt to the ground. It was the beginning of a long and treacherous journey to safety.

When we met Minara, she had not long arrived in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, in what is now the world's largest refugee camp. She'd given birth to a beautiful baby girl just seven days before, in the tent where we sat.

In the overcrowded and dangerous camps, many women like Minara are too afraid to use the public latrines and showers. Instead they relieve themselves in or near their tents.

Others seek out toilets in the cover of darkness, hoping it might be safer:

"We are too afraid", Anita, Minara's sister-in-law says.

The women in Cox's Bazar have already faced unimaginable horrors. Many experienced extreme physical and sexual abuse when they fled Myanmar. And now they are vulnerable to further abuse, trafficking and exploitation. They fear walking around on their own.

Thanks to our supporters, we're working to make daily life in the camps cleaner and safer for women and girls. Working with female community groups, a team of sanitation specialists are overseeing the build of safer toilets, wash points and a waste disposal system. 

Click here to find out more about what we're doing to help. 

The women here are survivors.

Thanks to the generous support we receive, we are working hard to give women and their daughters a better future, not only in Cox's Bazar but around the world. So thank you.