An estimated 63,000 people are believed to have traveled by boat in an irregular and dangerous way in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea in 2014. Another 25,000 joined them in the first quarter of 2015. They are part of a complex, mixed migratory movement composed of refugees, stateless people and economic migrants. Unregulated and, until recently, inconspicuous, the scale of the movement has tripled since 2012 and the level and scale of abuse suffered by voyagers is unprecedented in recent times.
Bangkok, Thailand | AFP | Friday 5/29/2015 - 15:10 GMT
by Jerome TAYLOR
Myanmar and Bangladesh agreed to address the "root causes" of a migrant exodus from their shores at talks in Bangkok Friday, but critics pilloried a deal that failed to mention the Rohingya minority at the heart of the crisis.
Southeast Asia's migrant scandal began to unfurl at the start of this month after a Thai crackdown on people smuggling threw the multi-million dollar industry into disarray.
1. In response to the alarming rise in the irregular movement of persons in the Indian Ocean, the Royal Thai Government organized the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok.
UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk, is in Bangkok attending a regional conference to find solutions for thousands of refugees and migrants moving irregularly by sea from the Bay of Bengal.
Organized by the Royal Thai Government, the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean convenes 17 countries in the region to discuss common challenges. Some 88,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshis have risked their lives on smugglers’ boats since 2014. More than 1,000 have died at sea.
Thailand – IOM Director General William Lacy Swing has challenged the global community to “conjugate the conundrum” of effective border management and large-scale migration.
Kuala Lumpur, 29th May 2015 – MERCY Malaysia has continued with operations at the Belantik Dentention Centre in Kedah for the second week. The medical team has continued providing medical aid, distribution of specific non-food items and psychosocial support.
MERCY Malaysia has also been working with the Royal Malaysian Navy and has a team on standby to assist Rohingya asylum seekers and Bangladeshi irregular migrants on boats at sea. However, at the present time there have been no boats detected within Malaysian territorial waters.
Bangkok, Thailand | AFP | Friday 5/29/2015 - 06:01 GMT
by Marion THIBAUT
Myanmar rebuked the UN Friday after being called on to address the cause of the exodus of Rohingya Muslims from its shores, saying it is being "singled out" for criticism at international talks.
Tensions over Southeast Asia's migrant crisis were exposed as delegates from 17 nations gathered to address the flight of thousands of desperate people on boats across the Bay of Bengal, aiming for Malaysia and Indonesia.
Bangkok, Thailand | AFP | Friday 5/29/2015 - 03:40 GMT
by Marion THIBAUT
Delegates from 17 nations gathered in Thailand Friday for talks on Southeast Asia's migrant crisis which has seen thousands of desperate people flee on boats across the Bay of Bengal aiming for Malaysia and Indonesia.
But observers say it is unclear what the one-day meeting, held at a Bangkok hotel, which is not being attended at a ministerial level, can achieve on an issue that has dogged the region for years but gone largely ignored by authorities.
Regional governments must take immediate action to save lives and address the root causes of the South East Asian migrant crisis, Amnesty International said ahead of a key summit in Thailand on Friday.
“The Bangkok summit is an opportunity to develop a genuine regional effort to address all the many dimensions of the crisis in line with international human rights law that must not be missed,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.
Since May 20th 2015 1,111 Rohingya asylum seekers and Bangladesh irregular migrants have been sheltered in Belantik Immigration Detention Camp
MERCY Malaysia has been providing medical assistance, deworming exercises, vaccination clinics for Rohingya refugees and Bangladesh irregular migrants since Wednesday 20th May 2015
MERCY Malaysia is providing its services twice a week to the camp
SITUATION OVERVIEW & MERCY MALAYSIA HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE
By David Han Guo Xiong
The Rohingya refugee crisis is a test of Malaysia’s chairmanship of ASEAN. Kuala Lumpur’s response is an attempt to balance its foreign policy commitment to ASEAN and allay domestic concerns over the Rohingya humanitarian problem.
Wang Kelian, Malaysia | AFP | Thursday 5/28/2015 - 15:00 GMT
by Satish Cheney
Malaysian police Thursday removed the remains of nine people from jungle camps near the Thai border where an estimated 139 bodies are believed to have been buried in a still unfolding people-smuggling crisis in Southeast Asia.
The skeletal remains were carried in white cloth bags tied to wooden poles to the border town Wang Kelian on the eve of an international meeting in Thailand on the desperate situation of refugees and migrants fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Office of the Spokesperson
May 28, 2015
Demand End of Abuses in Burma, Access for Refugee Protection
(Bangkok, May 28, 2015) – Governments gathering in Bangkok on May 29, 2015, to discuss the Southeast Asia boat people crisis should reach binding agreements to save people at sea, permit them to disembark without conditions, and ensure unimpeded access for United Nations agencies to protect the rights of asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today.
26 mai 2015 – Le Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, a fait le point mardi sur quelques-unes des principales crises des droits de l'homme actuelles, notamment les violences au Burundi et le trafic de migrants en Europe et en Asie du Sud-Est.
Dans un discours prononcé devant le Conseil des droits de l'homme de l'Organisation à Genève, en Suisse, le Haut-Commissaire a commencé par tirer les constats de sa récente visite au Burundi.
Bangkok, Thailand | AFP | Wednesday 5/27/2015 - 13:10 GMT
by Jerome TAYLOR
Thai police are seeking help from villagers living near a recently uncovered network of jungle camps to aid their investigation into people-smuggling and human trafficking-gangs, a senior officer said Wednesday.
Suspicion has fallen on remote communities in the deep south whom rights groups say must either have been aware of the trade, or have been actively involved in it.
Dhaka, Bangladesh | AFP | Wednesday 5/27/2015 - 14:30 GMT
by Sam JAHAN
Bangladesh plans to relocate thousands of Rohingya who have spent years in refugee camps near the Myanmar border to a southern island, an official said Wednesday, as the region faces a human-trafficking crisis.
The government has started planning the relocation to Hatiya island in the Bay of Bengal in a move backed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said additional secretary Amit Kumar Baul.
Mali: Gao and Timbutku regions have been the scene of multiple clashes between the Azawad Movement Coalition and Malian forces, as well as the pro-government Gatia militia. At least 12 people have been killed, including nine civilians. About 31,500 people have been displaced from three districts in Timbuktu region. They are in urgent needs of water, food, NFIs, and shelter support, but access is limited.
STATEMENT RELEASED ON 27 MAY 2015
Please find herein the Joint NGO Statement ahead of the intergovernmental Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean being held on 29 May 2015 hosted by the Royal Thai Government in Bangkok. The signatories below represent more than 600 non-governmental and civil society organisations operating across Asia and the Pacific regions.
1 Objectives of this document