This narrative collection is based on a study for the Navigating at the Margins: Family, Mobility and Livelihoods Amongst Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh publication, which conducted a representative survey of 1,611 camp households and 50 in-depth interviews with camp residents in Cox’s Bazar. Respondents were asked to share personal stories of their migration journey, information about their family members in other countries and the livelihood circumstances they face in the camps.

Interviews were held with residents of the camps in a semi structured format in August 2019, November 2019, and January 2020. The interviews were done in a private location due to the sensitivity of the topics discussed.

Each interview took between one and two and a half hours. The researchers used a loosely structured question bank and encouraged interviewees to first share their family story in detail. Follow-up questions were then posed to further elucidate the elements most relevant to the study. The result of these interviews is a rich collection of multigenerational oral histories that shed light on each family’s unique circumstances. 

Interviews were written up as narratives, selected, and edited based on diversity in profiles, taking into account sensitivities and security. Names and other identifying details have been changed or omitted where appropriate to protect the anonymity of respondents. Accompanying illustrations are broad renderings of emerging themes interpreted by the artist and are not meant to represent accurate depictions of the situation. The site contents have been reviewed by Rohingya learners as part of a critical thinking course in Cox’s Bazar to ensure ownership and proper representation. 

This work is part of the X-Border Local Research Network, a component of the Cross-Border Conflict: Evidence, Policy and Trends (XCEPT) program. The X-Border Local Research Network is a partnership between The Asia Foundation, the Carnegie Middle East Center, and the Rift Valley Institute. With support from UK aid from the UK government, the project works with local research partners to improve our understanding of political, economic and social dynamics in conflict-affected borderlands, and the flows of people, goods and ideas that connect them. The project supports more effective policymaking and development programming, leveraging research to advocate for peaceful change.


Lead interviewer and researcher: Jessica Olney

Illustrator: Inshra Russell

Contributors: Azizul Hoque, Tasnuva Ahmad, research associates, colleagues and participants from the Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills (CRITAS) Course at the Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ), Brac University

This site is supported by UK aid from the UK government. All views are those of the research team and are not necessarily shared by the project or the UK government.

The Centre for Peace and Justice is a multidisciplinary academic institute within Brac University, which promotes global peace and social justice through quality education, research, training and advocacy. CPJ is committed to identifying and promoting sustainable and inclusive solutions to a wide range of global concerns and issues, including fragility, conflict and violence.

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