11/05/18 02:14 PM By Leonyl

The boy took a deep breath before lifting up two bags full of red bricks, balancing the load on his shoulders. The sun burned his bare feet as he walked through the refugee camp, his back hunched under the weight.

A 10-year-old Rohingya, Mohammed has been working non-stop for the past two weeks, helping his struggling family earn a living in the world’s fastest growing refugee camp.

Leaving their former lives in Myanmar’s Rakhine State to set up homes in the teeming camps of southern Bangladesh cost the family hundreds of dollars – money that must now be recouped, one brick at a time.

“We had to pay for the boat ride to Bangladesh and the material to build a house here,” Mohammed told IRIN as he set about earning his day’s wages – about $0.04 a brick. “I’m helping my parents earn money.”

There is a severe shortage of safe spaces for kids in the camps, more than two months after a new wave of violence in Rakhine began pushing more than 600,000 Rohingya across the border. With desperate Rohingya families like Mohammed’s arriving with nothing, advocates say children are at high risk of exploitation and abuse.

“It’s a child protection disaster waiting to happen,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who heads Save the Children.


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