Ready to learn, eager to learn: a youth-led market and wellbeing assessment in Rohingya camps

Published 28. Jul 2023
Without access to quality, relevant education, or dignified work, Rohingya refugee youth face bleak and limited futures. Within the camp setting, they are unable to meet their immediate basic needs and are at high risk of violations of their rights, wellbeing, and security.

The Rohingya community is about to mark six years since its exodus from Myanmar. The state of Rohingya youth remains a blur: what are the barriers related to livelihood opportunities and social engagement? What are the skill-development needs for Rohingya youth residing in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar?

In this assessment, information from three data streams was used from within five targeted camps.
(a) Secondary data was reviewed in initial stages to inform the assessment approach and ensure participants understood already available information.
(b) Qualitative data was collected through consultations with youth enumerators in addition to focus group discussions (FGDs) with broader groups of youth within targeted camps.
(c) Quantitative data was also sought through interviews with external stakeholders including business owners or managers, other professionals (such as healthcare workers, teachers, and administrators) and community leaders, as well as through market observations in each camp.

Key Findings
• Basic needs (especially shelter, food, and water) are not being met for youth and their families. Beyond physical health, youth have a narrow understanding of the concept of wellbeing and are unable to identify or utilise healthy coping mechanisms.
• Access to formal education or employment is prohibited, there are few training programmes, and education services provided by humanitarian actors are primarily targeting only younger children at primary level.
• Youth also seek freedom of movement outside camps, which is currently not allowed.
• Women and girls are highly restricted by social and communal norms that limit learning or working outside the home, especially alongside men or boys.