The global non-governmental organisation BRAC has partnered with advertising and marketing agency O&M Group Japan and the Texel Foundation in a campaign urging people around the world not to forget about the plight off the Rohingya people.
The campaign launched in late 2018, marking a year from the beginning of the crisis that resulted in one million people being displaced from their homes in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and forced to flee from persecution and violence in neighbouring Bangladesh. The campaign, which uses the hashtag #SpaceOnEarth, highlights the need for more aid for the Rohingya people currently living in the largest refugee camp in the world.
The ASEAN CCO of O&M Group Japan, Ajab Samrai, lived with the Rohingya for two weeks, visiting the camps and gaining personal experience of the desperate conditions faced by these stateless people, in preparation for work on the campaign.
More information about the work of BRAC can be found in the PDF attachment to this post.
Call to Action
The O&M Group Japan-designed campaign features hard-hitting images including both print and video, drawing attention to the plight of some half a million children living in poor conditions and struggling to deal with the trauma of having witnessed horrific violence at such a young age.
Chief Creative Officer Ajab Samrai worked with a large creative team in partnership with both BRAC and the Texel Foundation to give a voice to some of the most vulnerable and unempowered people on the planet. The campaign calls for more funding to assist in the humanitarian efforts of BRAC to help the Rohingya, using powerful imagery to carry the message of these people to the world.
Throughout his career in advertising which currently spans more than three decades, Ajab Samrai has used his talents to not only create award-winning marketing campaigns, but also to deliver important messages and champion a variety of worthy causes.
A Stateless People
The Rohingya people have been described as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities by the United Nations. The people have faced military crack-downs on numerous occasions, most recently and drastically in 2017-2018, when almost all of Myanmar’s Rohingya population was forced out of the country and into refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Under Myanmar nationality law, the Rohingya people have been denied citizenship since 1982, despite having a traceable history in the region dating back as far as the 8th century. Current law leaves the entire Rohingya people stateless.
Discriminatory policies of the government of Myanmar have been compelling hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee persecution in their homes since the 1970s. The majority cross the border into Bangladesh, while some have crossed the seas to seek refuge in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
In the infographic attachment, you can see an overview of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar in figures.
The most recent and drastic exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar began in Autumn 2017, when a militant group in the Rakhine region of the country claimed responsibility for attacks against security forces.
The Myanmar government declared the group to be a terrorist organisation, bringing in the military in force in a brutal campaign that left more than 6,700 dead within the first month. The security forces of Myanmar allegedly also planted land mines and opened fire on civilians fleeing the carnage.
The result was more than 700,000 of the Rohingya people were forced to leave Myanmar. The United Nations has accused the Burmese military of genocide and described the crisis as ethnic cleansing. A definition of ethnic cleansing can be found in the embedded short video.