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More Than 43,000 Rohingya Parents Are Reported Missing. Experts Fear They Are Dead

More than 43,000 Rohingya parents have been reported lost, presumed dead in the six months since Myanmar’s military unleashed a crackdown last August, according to a new report. These figures provide the latest indication that even by conservative estimates the number of Muslim Rohingya killed in the crisis far exceeds the Myanmar government’s official count of 400.

Based on surveys of refugees who fled Myanmar for neighboring Bangladesh, 28,300 Rohingya children have lost at least one parent, while an additional 7,700 children reported having lost both parents, according to the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), citing data from the Bangladeshi government. That puts the number of “lost” parents at 43,700.

“These numbers cover Rohingya children whose parents are currently not with them because they were killed, or presumably killed and their whereabouts are unknown,” Oren Samet, a research and advocacy director at APHR, tells TIME.

While there are no reliable totals for how many people have been killed in what the U.N. has labelled an “ethnic cleansing” campaign, Doctors Without Borders estimated 6,700 Rohingya deaths in the first month of violence alone.

Matthew Smith of Fortify Rights says the number of “lost” parents begins to reveal the scale of the ongoing atrocities.

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