Rohingya newborns offer frail hope in face of Myanmar violence

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Infants offer hope to migrants in Bangladesh
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Infants offer hope to migrants in Bangladesh
Asmot Ara, 18, holds her seven-day-old unnamed daughter as she poses for a photograph inside their shelter in Balukhali unregistered refugee camp in Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 8, 2017. Asmot Ara said she came to the camp one month ago with neighbours from Nagpura village in Myanmar after her father-in-law was killed and their home burnt down by the Myanmar military. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain 
Sanwara Begum, 20, poses for a photograph with her 25-day-old daughter Aasma inside their shelter in Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 9, 2017. Sanwara Begum fled to Bangladesh from Khyeri Prang village in Myanmar, with her husband around two and a half months ago. Her husband Rafiqullah now works as a day labourer in Cox?s Bazar. "No one wants to leave their own home. We have come to Bangladesh only to save our lives. Myanmar is our home, we will move to Myanmar immediately if the situation becomes stable," Sanwara said. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
Rajuma Begum, 28, poses for a photograph with her one-month-old son Raihan inside their shelter in Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 12, 2017. "I fled to Bangladesh because of fear, because I needed to save my children. I was pregnant and suffering from fever while crossing the border. I also have an 11-month-old boy, so it was very difficult to reach the border from our village Wabek in Myanmar. I had to rest frequently. After six hours of horrible walking finally we reached the border at 2am and crossed the border after paying a broker," Rajuma Begum said. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain 
Marijaan, 20, holds her 25-day-old daughter Noor Habi as her son stands inside their shelter in Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 9, 2017. Marijaan fled to Bangladesh from Khyeri Prang village in Myanmar one month ago after her house was burnt down the by Myanmar military. "I reached the border at night and crossed by the boat. I paid the boatman to cross the Naf River," Marijaan said. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain 
Jamalida, 30, holds her two-month-old daughter Shahida as she poses for a photograph inside their shelter in Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, February 10, 2017. Jamalida came to Bangladesh with her husband from Nasha Phuru village in Myanmar. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain 
Noor Begum, 26, sits next to her one-day-old daughter Sumaiya as she poses for a photograph inside their shelter in Balukhali unregistered refugee camp in Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 8, 2017. Noor Begum came to the camp one-and-a-half months ago from Nagpura village with her husband Jahangir Alom. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain 
Noor Kayes, 18, smiles as she holds her 26-day-old unnamed daughter at their home in Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, February 9, 2017. Noor Kayes fled to Bangladesh with her parents from Poachong village in Myanmar two months ago after her husband was killed by the military. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain 
Rehana Begum, 25, sits near her one-day-old unnamed daughter inside their shelter at Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, February 10, 2017. "We were in our home and suddenly the military came to our village and started shooting," said Rehana Begum, who fled her village of Jambuinna in Myanmar three months ago. "When we heard the sound of gun shots we immediately went to our relatives. We walked for four hours without any food and water to reach the border at 1 a.m. We paid $18 to a broker to cross." The figure is equivalent to 25,000 Myanmar kyat. Intercepted by Bangladesh border guards, Rehana Begum's family narrowly escaped being sent home. "They wanted to send us back, but then we heard gunshots from the Myanmar side and the guards released us, saying, 'Stay in Bangladesh and save your lives'," she said. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
Fatema, 25, sits beside her one-day-old daughter Aasma in Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 9, 2017. Fatema fled to Bangladesh from Jambuinna village in Myanmar two months ago after her house was burnt down by the military. She crossed Naf River by boat during the night. "Our situation is better than many other refugees as my husband Mohammad Alom works here as a day labourer. Many of the new refugees have no work here, so they have to rely on relief," Fatema said. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain 
Amina, 30, holds her 16-day-old daughter Sumaiya as she poses for a photograph inside their shelter in Balukhali unregistered refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, February 8, 2017. "One and a half months ago the military came to our village and kept firing their guns. I ran away with my neighbours to save our lives. You see us alive here only because the God was so kind. They caught my uncle and my younger brother and we don?t know whether they are dead or alive," Amina said. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
Ramida Begum, 35, holds her 10-day-old unnamed daughter as she poses for a photograph inside their shelter in Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 10, 2017. "The military caught my husband and burnt our house down a week before I left Myanmar. Since then I don?t know whether my husband is dead or alive," Ramida Begum said. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain 
Minara Begum, 22, holds her one-month-old son Ayub as she sits inside their shelter in Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 10, 2017. Minara Begum fled to Bangladesh from Nasha Phuru village in Myanmar with her husband and mother-in-law. "My child doesn't get enough breast milk as I don't eat enough nutritious food. I have to buy milk powder from local market though it's not very good for my son," Minara said. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
Aarafa Begum, 20, tends to her two-month-old daughter Noor Kayes, who has been suffering from fever in Kutupalang unregistered refugee camp in Cox?s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 12, 2017. Aarafa Begum fled to Bangladesh two and a half months ago with her husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law from Khyeri Prang in Myanmar. "My daughter is suffering from fever since last night but I don't know where the clinic is," Aarafa said. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
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BALUKHALI, Bangladesh, March 20 (Reuters) - Scared, hungry and badly beaten, Rohingya women fleeing an army crackdown in Myanmar recount harrowing tales of destruction and death: a father burned alive, an uncle slaughtered with a machete, a brother arrested and not heard from again.

But huddled in makeshift refugee camps, dependent on food rations and the mercy of fellow refugees, they also carry something else: hope inspired by their newborn children, for whom Bangladesh is now home.

The babies' delicate features present a sharp contrast with the squalid conditions of the makeshift refugee camp, where a skipped meal or food poisoning can mean the difference between survival or death.

The Myanmar army launched its "clearance operation" after Rohingya insurgents attacked border guard posts in northwestern Rakhine state in October.

The United Nations said it had committed mass killings and gang rapes and burned villages in a campaign that may amount to crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

"One-and-a-half months ago the military came to our village and kept firing their guns," said Amina, one of the refugees, as she cradled her 16-day-old daughter, Sumaiya.

"You see us alive only because god was so kind," added Amina, 30. "They caught my uncle and my younger brother and we don't know whether they are dead or alive."

The military calls its crackdown on the Muslim minority a lawful counterinsurgency operation to defend the country and has denied the allegations. Myanmar launched several investigations into the alleged abuse, but human rights monitors say they lack credibility and independence.

Amina is one of about 75,000 refugees to have successfully made an often perilous crossing through the fields, eventually fording a river boundary to reach Bangladesh.

Some starved for weeks, while others gave everything they had to pay off people smugglers. Many never made it, drowning or getting shot by Myanmar security forces on the journey.

Survivors, who rely on shelters of bamboo sticks and black plastic sheets for protection from a scorching sun, face a major challenge in keeping their newborns alive.

The camps often lack medical facilities and running water, leading aid agency workers to worry about an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera.

"People are living in tough circumstances. Most don't have access to regular medical services and are not getting enough food," said Azmat Ulla, an official of the International Federation of Red Cross in Bangladesh, launching an emergency appeal for help on Monday.

SURVIVING ON RATIONS

Many women struggle for funds, having lost male relations, the sole breadwinners in most families. They rely on handouts from the World Food Program and other agencies.

Clinics run by non-government bodies and the U.N. are overrun, scrambling to treat thousands of patients each month.

Minara Begum, 22, calms her crying one-month-old son, Ayub, as she tells of fleeing from her village of Nasha Phuru with her husband and mother-in-law.

"My child doesn't get enough breast milk as I don't eat enough nutritious food," she said. "I have to buy milk powder, though it's not very good for my son."

Many women said they survived or witnessed acts of gang rape by soldiers.

An official of a large Western aid agency told Reuters it had distributed more than 660 "dignity kits" for assault victims, besides counseling nearly 200 women who suffered trauma after the killing of a family member, usually male.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said the worker, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

30 PHOTOS
Migrants in Bangladesh train for jobs
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Migrants in Bangladesh train for jobs
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: Reyhana Begum (in black) receives training at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reyhana currently makes around 1,500-3,000 ($19.15-$38.30) taka per month working as a tailor, and her husband makes 5,000-6,000 ($63.83-$76.60) taka per month working as a rickshaw puller. She expects to earn 22,000 taka ($280.86) per month in Saudi Arabia, which she says she will put towards her daughters dowry and son's education. She says that with the money earned abroad she will be able to give her and her family a future and save money. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: 35 year old Shahanara Begum prepares uses her phone outside her home March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Saharan plans to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, and with the money she earns she will be able to repay loans, pay medical bills for her husband, and build a new house for her family. Her husband works as a laborer earning around 5,000 ($63.83) taka per month. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: 35 year old Shahanara Begum poses for a photo in her one room home, which she shares with 8 relatives, March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Saharan plans to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, and with the money she earns she will be able to repay loans, pay medical bills for her husband, and build a new house for her family. Her husband works as a laborer earning around 5,000 ($63.83) taka per month. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: 35 year old Shahanara Begum attends a class at the The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Saharan plans to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, and with the money she earns she will be able to repay loans, pay medical bills for her husband, and build a new house for her family. Her husband works as a laborer earning around 5,000 ($63.83) taka per month. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: A teacher instructs how to make toast March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: A woman takes a photo at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: Women attend a class at the The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: 35 year old Shahanara Begum poses for a photo in her one room home, which she shares with 8 relatives, March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Saharan plans to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, and with the money she earns she will be able to repay loans, pay medical bills for her husband, and build a new house for her family. Her husband works as a laborer earning around 5,000 ($63.83) taka per month. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: Reyhana Begum (in black) receives training at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reyhana currently makes around 1,500-3,000 ($19.15-$38.30) taka per month working as a tailor, and her husband makes 5,000-6,000 ($63.83-$76.60) taka per month working as a rickshaw puller. She expects to earn 22,000 taka ($280.86) per month in Saudi Arabia, which she says she will put towards her daughters dowry and son's education. She says that with the money earned abroad she will be able to give her and her family a future and save money. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: Reyhana Begum (in black) receives training at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reyhana currently makes around 1,500-3,000 ($19.15-$38.30) taka per month working as a tailor, and her husband makes 5,000-6,000 ($63.83-$76.60) taka per month working as a rickshaw puller. She expects to earn 22,000 taka ($280.86) per month in Saudi Arabia, which she says she will put towards her daughters dowry and son's education. She says that with the money earned abroad she will be able to give her and her family a future and save money. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: Reyhana Begum (in black) receives training at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reyhana currently makes around 1,500-3,000 ($19.15-$38.30) taka per month working as a tailor, and her husband makes 5,000-6,000 ($63.83-$76.60) taka per month working as a rickshaw puller. She expects to earn 22,000 taka ($280.86) per month in Saudi Arabia, which she says she will put towards her daughters dowry and son's education. She says that with the money earned abroad she will be able to give her and her family a future and save money. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: 35 year old Shahanara Begum prepares food in her kitchen outside her home March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Saharan plans to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, and with the money she earns she will be able to repay loans, pay medical bills for her husband, and build a new house for her family. Her husband works as a laborer earning around 5,000 ($63.83) taka per month. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: A teacher instructs how to make toast March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: A teacher instructs how to make coffee March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: Reyhana Begum (in black) receives training at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reyhana currently makes around 1,500-3,000 ($19.15-$38.30) taka per month working as a tailor, and her husband makes 5,000-6,000 ($63.83-$76.60) taka per month working as a rickshaw puller. She expects to earn 22,000 taka ($280.86) per month in Saudi Arabia, which she says she will put towards her daughters dowry and son's education. She says that with the money earned abroad she will be able to give her and her family a future and save money. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 15: 35 year old Shahanara Begum (in purple) eats breakfast with her relatives, whom she shares the room with, in her home March 15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Saharan plans to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, and with the money she earns she will be able to repay loans, pay medical bills for her husband, and build a new house for her family. Her husband works as a laborer earning around 5,000 ($63.83) taka per month. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: Women practice childcare and household cleaning at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center on March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The training center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: Women are shown how to use a washing machine at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center on March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The training center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: Women practice using a microwave at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center on March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The training center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: 28 year old Reyhana Begum, who is preparing to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, plays with her children and neighbors at her home March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reyhana currently makes around 1,500-3,000 ($19.15-$38.30) taka per month working as a tailor, and her husband makes 5,000-6,000 ($63.83-$76.60) taka per month working as a rickshaw puller. She expects to earn 22,000 taka ($280.86) per month in Saudi Arabia, which she says she will put towards her daughters dowry and son's education. She says that with the money earned abroad she will be able to give her and her family a future and save money. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: A sign is posted in a classroom at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center on March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The training center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: Women practice setting the table at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center on March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The training center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: Signs are posted at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center on March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The training center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: 28 year old Reyhana Begum, who is preparing to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, folds clothes in her home March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reyhana currently makes around 1,500-3,000 ($19.15-$38.30) taka per month working as a tailor, and her husband makes 5,000-6,000 ($63.83-$76.60) taka per month working as a rickshaw puller. She expects to earn 22,000 taka ($280.86) per month in Saudi Arabia, which she says she will put towards her daughters dowry and son's education. She says that with the money earned abroad she will be able to give her and her family a future and save money. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: 28 year old Reyhana Begum, who is preparing to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, poses for a photo in her home with her children March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reyhana currently makes around 1,500-3,000 ($19.15-$38.30) taka per month working as a tailor, and her husband makes 5,000-6,000 ($63.83-$76.60) taka per month working as a rickshaw puller. She expects to earn 22,000 taka ($280.86) per month in Saudi Arabia, which she says she will put towards her daughters dowry and son's education. She says that with the money earned abroad she will be able to give her and her family a future and save money. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: 28 year old Reyhana Begum, who is preparing to work as a housekeeper in Saudi Arabia, poses for a photo in her home with her children March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Reyhana currently makes around 1,500-3,000 ($19.15-$38.30) taka per month working as a tailor, and her husband makes 5,000-6,000 ($63.83-$76.60) taka per month working as a rickshaw puller. She expects to earn 22,000 taka ($280.86) per month in Saudi Arabia, which she says she will put towards her daughters dowry and son's education. She says that with the money earned abroad she will be able to give her and her family a future and save money. The Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: A women is instructed to use an appliance at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center on March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The training center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: Women practice using the washing machine at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center on March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The training center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
DHAKA, BANGLADESH - MARCH 14: Women are instructed on using the microwave at the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Mohila Technical Training Center on March 14, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The training center provides potential migrant workers with the skills they need to earn a living overseas. Bangladesh received $15.31 billion in remittances from an estimated 9.4 million citizens working overseas in the fiscal year that ended in June 2015. Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch have published reports documenting how migrant domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
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LUCKY TO BE ALIVE

The quiet of Cox's Bazar, a beachside resort town, makes for a jarring contrast with the temporary camps amid rice paddies and salt flats just an hour's drive away.

Large groups of desperate women line the roads, begging for money from passing cars, often well after sunset.

A red blanket spread on the earthen floor of her shelter, Rehana Begum, 25, cares for her one-day-old daughter.

"We were in our home and suddenly the military came to our village and started shooting," said Rehana Begum, who fled her village of Jambuinna in Myanmar three months ago.

"When we heard the sound of gun shots we immediately went to our relatives. We walked for four hours without any food and water to reach the border at 1 a.m. We paid $18 to a broker to cross."

The figure is equivalent to 25,000 Myanmar kyat.

Intercepted by Bangladesh border guards, Rehana Begum's family narrowly escaped being sent home.

"They wanted to send us back, but then we heard gunshots from the Myanmar side and the guards released us, saying, 'Stay in Bangladesh and save your lives'," she said.

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