Razors, syringes and batteries: The toys that Rohingya children play with

Thousands of Rohingya people arrive daily at refugee camps in the Cox Bazar district of Bangladesh. The vast majority are women, including mothers with newborn babies, and children.

Ed Jones, a staff photographer for Agence France-Presse, spent two weeks at one of these refugee camps.

He photographed children playing with everyday objects — a razor blade, plastic syringe and a bottle cap — as toys.

“The imagination of children is a magnificent thing, yet no children should ever have to resort to playing with items like these,” he said.

He continued, “The razor-blade was slightly unusual. But many kids were playing with items that has previously been of use to adults. This razor blade was completely blunt. The child was not able to tell me where they found it.”

He explained how an old bottle top became a favorite toy for the children.

“Used as a funnel by adults and children to fill water jugs and other vessels, kids are using them to play in the sand, along with mini sieves (presumably used originally for straining tea etc.), and also old plastic cartons that they attach string to and fill with sand and dirt to use as rudimentary cars,” he said.

Jones said he “thought about including a portrait of the face of each child but decided against that.”

“I wanted to draw attention to the circumstances of the children as a whole,” he said. “Reflecting on the series, I hope that it demonstrates the poor conditions faced by children, and how this catastrophe has consequences that permeate all the way to the hands of the next generations.”

An estimated 626,000 Rohingya have fled their native Myanmar for Bangladesh. The United Nations‘ top human rights body on Tuesday passed a measure that said crimes against humanity have “very likely” been committed against the Rohingya, The Associated Press reported.

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