Devastating Photo Of Dead Rohingya Refugee Child Goes Viral

When people hear the word "refugee" these days, they often associate it with Syria.

But a devastating image of a child lying face-down, dead in the mud, is a stark reminder the refugee crisis we're currently facing is global.

The 16-month-old boy, reportedly named Mohammed Shohayet, was a Rohingya Muslim refugee from Myanmar (also known as Burma) attempting to flee to Bangladesh with his family.

His father, Zafor Alam, told CNN the boy drowned during the perilous journey along with his mother, uncle and three-year-old brother.

Around 34,000 people have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in recent weeks and months.

But, as the tragic photo of Mohammed reveals, not everyone makes it safely across the border.

Speaking about the image of his son, Alam said,

Alam said his family had no choice but to flee their home because the Myanmar military attacked it, explaining,

Alam became separated from his family as they fled to Bangladesh.

Once he made it to the Nam river, which runs between Myanmar and Bangladesh, he began swimming.

He said he was picked up by some fisherman, who took him across the border.

After he got across, he contacted a boatman to try and get his family across too. He explained,

Alam's family attempted to escape after they spoke to him on the phone, but the boat they were in ultimately sank. He said,

Alam learned of his family's fate when someone phoned him the next day,

The image of Alam's son is very reminiscent of the heartbreaking image of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy whose dead body washed up on a Turkish beach.

Both images stand as tragic reminders of the world's failure to help refugees.

The Rohingya people, who are not recognized as citizens by Myanmar's government in spite of the fact they've lived there for generations, are considered to be among the world's most persecuted minorities.

Religious tensions between the Rohingya Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists escalated into intense violence severals ago.

Evidence of the persecution of the Rohingya people continues to emerge.

Human rights groups claim the Myanmar military burned Rohingya villages over the past several months.

A viral video that showed Myanmar border police beating Rohingya villagers recently sparked outrage.

At the moment, there are currently around 21.3 million refugees worldwide, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

This is the worst refugee crisis since WWII, but many wealthy countries -- who are in the best position to step up and help -- are hardly doing anything to address it.

Citations: 'The Rohingya Alan Kurdi': Will the world take notice now? (CNN)