DRASTIC MEASURES

Bangladesh Considers Sterilization for Rohingya Refugees

Authorities in Bangladesh plan to introduce a voluntary sterilization program for camps housing Rohingya refugees who’ve fled violence in Burma. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees are living in Bangladeshi camps following a military crackdown against the minority group in neighboring Burma’s Rakhine state. Bangladeshi officials say resources have been stretched thin in the camps and efforts to promote birth control among refugees have so far been ineffective. District family planning authorities have asked the government to sign off on a plan to carry out vasectomies for Rohingya men and tubectomies for women, according to Pintu Kanti Bhattacharjee, the head of family planning services in the camps. “Sterilization of the males is the best way to control the population. If a man is sterilized, he cannot father a child even if he marries four or five times,” Bhattacharjee told Agence France-Presse. About 20,000 Rohingya women are currently pregnant and 600 have given birth since their arrival in the camps, officials said.