UNFPA, KOICA opens Adolescent and Youth Centre in Rohingya camps

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have opened their first-ever “Adolescent and Youth Center” in the Rohingya camps with a vision to provide proper SRHR knowledge among the Rohingya youths as part of their “Project for Improving Menstrual Health Management of Adolescent Girls and Women in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.”

Due to the lack of proper basic living conditions in the camp, Rohingya boys and girls are more prone to SRHR concerns. Due to a shortage of income-generating activities in the camp, Rohingya boys & girls of adolescent age are more in danger of being exploited through forced marriages, forced labor, and trafficking for commercial sexual purposes. In the absence of clear rules regulating the minimum age for marriage and the procedures for registering marriages in the camps, they favor child marriage.

Moreover, the opinions of Rohingya adolescents and youths on sexual & reproductive health, childbirth, family planning, and contraception are vastly influenced by the social, cultural, and historical background. Adolescent boys and girls, in particular, are reluctant to seek out sexual orientation, menstrual hygiene, and reproductive health care owing to ignorance or because their parents, who play a key role in determining whether or not they visit the medical facility, have a negative perception in the matter.

To tackle these burning issues, the “Adolescent and Youth Center” in camp 13 will provide services for both adolescent boys and girls. With a focus on topics including menstrual health management, gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), peaceful conflict resolution, and protection education; the center will be crucial in educating and enhancing the life skills of Rohingya adolescents and youth.

In the future, the project intends to establish 4 centers inside schools in the host towns of Ukhiya, Teknaf, Moheshkhali Upazila, and Cox’s Bazar district, in addition to 7 additional Adolescent and Youth centers in the Rohingya camps. 17,160 adolescent girls and boys as well as their caretakers are anticipated to benefit from the services offered by the facilities once they are finished.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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