Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has called on the world to help Rohingya children living in very hard conditions as a result of the crisis in Myanmar. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been forced out of their villages amidst a campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Myanmar military and are now living in refugee camps.
In a Twitter post, the four-time Champions League winner published two pictures: one showing him surrounded by his four children, and the second depicting a barefooted refugee holding an infant.
The photos were captioned “one world where we all love our children. Please help,” in an attempt to draw attention to the Rohingya refugees who were recognized by the United Nations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
The Rohingya are a predominantly Muslim community which the current Buddhist government of Myanmar does not recognize as citizens.
In 2015, Rohingya migrants - dubbed ‘boat people’ by international media - left Myanmar to escape humiliation, discrimination and poverty. More than 25,000 people attempted to cross the sea, risking their lives to find refuge in such countries as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
In an attempt to find a better life, thousands of migrants were trapped on boats at sea with little food or water.
The Myanmar army destroyed hundreds of Rohingya villages prompting more than 650,000 Rohingya to leave the country.
Almost 7000 people, including at least 730 children under the age of five, were killed in the first month of attacks launched by the Myanmar army.
Since 2015, more than 900,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar seeking refuge from violence and persecution.
The UN and Human Rights Watch called the Myanmar military operation against the Rohingya population ethnic cleansing.