PHOTO GALLERY: The Rohingya in Bangladesh
Bangladesh hosts the largest population of Muslim Rohingya refugees in the world, who flee across the border from northern Rakhine State in Myanmar because of ethnic and religious persecution.
Kutupalong and Nayapara are two official government camps in Bangladesh's southeast, in the district of Cox's Bazar, housing some 28,000 refugees registered with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). They are the remnants of a refugee outflow from northern Rakhine State in 1991-1992; no new Rohingya refugees have been allowed to enter the camps since then.
Outside the camps, an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 unregistered Rohingya are in makeshift shelters with little protection or assistance. For all the refugees, clean water, food, sanitation, shelter, healthcare and protection are in short supply.
International human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have alleged widespread abuses against people living in and around the camps by the Bangladesh authorities, and say refugees are being denied access to basic humanitarian services. The Rohingya have also been subjected to evictions and had their homes destroyed.
In 2009, The Arakan Project, an advocacy organization for the Rohingya, trained two refugees from Maungdaw Township in northern Rakhine State in photography. Both were child soldiers and have been living in the camps since 1991 and working as field researchers for the Arakan Project for the past seven years.
"We trained them in photography in 2009 to improve their skills and build capacity of our Rohingya monitors, to empower them in documenting visually the situation of their community," said Chris Lewa, the Arakan Project's coordinator.
The photos, mostly taken during the 2009 monsoon season in June and July, depict daily life in the Nayapara and Kutupalong official camps, as well as the adjacent Kutupalong makeshift camp.
Some also show the aftermath of the demolition by authorities of a section of the Kutupalong makeshift camp in June 2009, leaving hundreds of refugees homeless.