Razor blades, strings and plastic bottles; the toys of Rohingya refugee children
Razor blades, empty syringes and batteries, and old bottle tops — these are some of the things the children stuck in the middle of the Rohingya refugee crisis are playing with.
In a series of photographs, Ed Jones captures the kids’ playthings in their outstretched hands in Shamlapur, Thankhali and Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar earlier this month.
The children are part of the 625,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since August.
According to UNICEF, children make up around 60 per cent of the refugee influx and are particularly vulnerable to starvation’s effects.
“This crisis is stealing their childhoods,” Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director, said in a statement in November. “We must not let it steal their futures at the same time.”
On Oct. 2, 2017, a drawing by a Rohingya boy, Abdul, revealing the horrific experiences he endured while fleeing from Myanmar to Bangladesh, at the children friendly space at the Balukhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh.UNICEF/UN0126672/Brown
Jones said he focused on the kids’ hands rather than traditional portraits because he wanted to “focus on details of life in the camps that were missing from the other photos”
He said the razor blade, battery and knife were the worst of the “toys” he saw.
“The imagination of children is a magnificent thing, yet no children should ever have to resort to playing with items like these,” Jones said.
“I hope that [the pictures] demonstrate the poor conditions faced by children, and how this catastrophe has consequences that permeate all the way to the hands of the next generations.”
Khairul Amin, 6, holds a piece of plastic that he uses as a spade to play in the sand at the Thankhali refugee camp.
Mohammad Rafiq, 8, holds a toy whistle.
Halima Khatun, 6, holds a whistle and a razor blade she was playing with.
Mohammad Shahed, 4, holds a battery he took apart and was playing with at Thankhali refugee camp.
Mohhamad Hussein, 10, holds a discarded syringe he was playing with.
Unnamed migrant boy holding a spinning toy at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar.
Isha Rab, 5, who arrived in Bangladesh in September, holds a handmade rope of fabric that she uses to play.
Mohammad Arafath, 4, holds a mini toy trumpet at the Thankhali refugee camp.
Abi Asad, 3, holds a spinning toy at the Shamlapur refugee camp.
Mohammad Sadek, 5, holds a plastic ‘fidget spinner’ that he found discarded, at Thankhali refugee camp.
Shahidul Amin, 5, holds a part of a bottle that he uses to play in the sand at the Thankhali refugee camp.
Abdul Hafez, 5, holds bottle tops that he uses to play a game called ‘Medakhela’ at the Thankhali refugee camp.
Saiful Islam, 9, who fled Myanmar three years ago, holds a toy gun at the Shamlapur refugee camp.
*with files from Getty Images