Help
Rohingya
Girls


Ask the Australian Government to help
girls affected by the Rohingya crisis


Sabuka collects firewood every few days. It’s a three hour walk each way into the jungle. She walks with a group of five or six girls around her age for safety, but still, she is scared.

“I am afraid but we have to have firewood so we can eat. I am scared of the men, that’s why we all go together. Nothing has happened to us yet because we stick together. I cut the wood myself and carry it back with me.”

Sabuka is one of more than 655,000 Rohingya people who fled Myanmar for vast camps in Bangladesh.

Rohingya girls have it particularly tough. They are vulnerable to assault, exploitation and trafficking and are frequently confined to their tents as a result of fear and cultural norms.

Australians like you have been generous in their response to the catastrophic humanitarian emergency unfolding in Myanmar and Bangladesh but there’s more we can, and must, do to help. The scale of the crisis demands that the international community act together and as a regional leader, Australia can continue to play a powerful role.

Please ask the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to keep the pressure on the international community to urgently resolve the crisis. Together we can show how many Australians want our government and opposition to take a stand.

Girls like Sabuka are counting on us.

To the Hon. Julie Bishop MP we plead, the Australian Government must do more to protect Rohingya children, especially girls.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya children continue to suffer in our region, in a crisis not of their making. Plan International’s research shows that girls are at particular risk of exploitation in overcrowded, under-resourced camps. As an important regional power, Australia has a critical role to play in helping these children. 

Therefore, we ask that the Australian Government use its leadership and influence to:

- Urge the Government of Bangladesh to allow aid agencies access to those in need, particularly adolescent girls in Cox’s Bazar.
- Pressure the international community to fully fund the humanitarian response without delay. 
- Ensure the rights of Rohingya children, especially girls are protected by using our seat on the Human Rights Council to keep the issue on the international agenda.

CC. Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

This petition is part of Plan International Australia’s ongoing Half a Billion Reasons campaign. Together we call on the Australian Government to prioritise gender equality for girls in Australia’s aid and foreign policy.


Hear from 13-year-old Farida about life the Cox’s Bazaar camp:




Sabuka*, 13, arrived in the camp three months ago. Her mother was killed as they made the terrible trek over the border, leaving her in the care of her aunt.

“I don’t like anything here. I want to go back to my own country,” she says.

“We have no warm clothes for the cold nights and we are very far from our home. Our neighbours gave us some plates and jugs, but there is very little firewood. When we run out, we burn leaves to cook.”

Sabuka collects firewood every few days. It’s a three hour walk each way into the jungle. She walks with a group of five or six girls around her age for safety, but still, she is scared.

“I am afraid but we have to have firewood so we can eat. I am scared of the men, that’s why we all go together. Nothing has happened to us yet because we stick together. I cut the wood myself and carry it back with me.”

The biggest worry is food and warmth now that temperatures are dropping overnight in the camp. They live at the top of a steep embankment in a typical tarp and bamboo dwelling, where the temperature plunges as the sun sets.

* Name changed to protect identity