Islamophobia and the Mental Health of Rohingya Refugees

  • Salman MajeedEmail author


The Rohingya, a long-persecuted minority in Myanmar, have been victims of genocide because of their Muslim faith. Through systematic discrimination and apartheid, the state has denied them their fundamental human right of citizenship. For generations, stateless Rohingya have been struggling for survival. Unfortunately, despite clear prior warnings of their genocide, the rest of the world failed the responsibility to protect them. To escape murder, rape, and mass violence, more than a million Rohingya have fled to other countries in desperate conditions. Resonant with rest of their neglect as a group, there is a dearth of research about their mental health challenges and needs. This chapter attempts to understand their historical background, ongoing genocide, and the underlying attitudes that facilitated the perpetration of genocide. Next, this chapter attempts to provide a framework by which to conceptualize the impact of these atrocities on their mental health at an individual, family, and community level. The chapter concludes with ideas and suggestions for intervention based on this understanding of the challenges faced by the Rohingya and other minorities who are victims of similar atrocities.


Rohingya Myanmar Burma Refugees Mental health Genocide Ethnic cleansing Statelessness Resilience 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryPenn State Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA

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