Bangladesh to build separate shelters for children with no parents

Bangladesh will build separate shelters for 6,000 Rohingya Muslim children who entered the country without parents in order to escape violence in neighbouring Burma.

Children make up about 60% of the Rohingya who have poured into Bangladesh over the last month to flee persecution.

According to junior minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed, the social welfare ministry has asked local authorities for 200 acres of land to build facilities for the children without parents.

So far about 1,580 children have been registered.

Unicef has identified about 1,800 children who fled Burma without parents after violence broke out on August 25, but Mr Ahmed believes that the total number is about 6,000.

Zillar Rahman, a senior official at the ministry, told reporters in Dhaka that the government wants to protect those children by keeping them away from adults. He said: "Ages between 13 and 18 are vulnerable.

"If they live with the adults there is a possibility of getting harmed or involved in criminal activities."

If the land is available, children will be divided into two groups, those below age seven and those between eight and 18.

The plans come as the UN refugee agency has called for a redoubling of the international humanitarian response in Bangladesh.

Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for UN high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi, feels that "despite having found refuge in Bangladesh, they are still exposed to enormous hardship."

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