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28 May 2015 description

By David Han Guo Xiong

Synopsis

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.

Commentary

27 May 2015 description
report Human Rights Watch

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.

27 May 2015 description

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.

27 May 2015 description

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.

27 May 2015 description

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.

27 May 2015 description

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.

27 May 2015 description
report Human Rights Watch

Denial of Rights in Burma, Bangladesh Lead to Trafficking and Dangerous Sea Voyages

(Bangkok, May 27, 2015) – Rohingya and other survivors of dangerous boat voyages from Burma and Bangladesh describe horrific treatment by unscrupulous smugglers and traffickers in Burma, and abuse and neglect aboard ships, Human Rights Watch said today. A regional meeting scheduled on May 29, 2015, in Bangkok must find solutions to the so-called boat people exodus.

26 May 2015 description

The following statement was delivered today by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva:

26 May 2015 description

Wang Kelian, Malaysia | AFP | Tuesday 5/26/2015 - 12:18 GMT

by Mohd Rasfan Nor

Malaysian police Tuesday began the grisly task of clearing dozens of grave sites in suspected people-smuggling camps Tuesday, as Thai aircraft searched for thousands of migrants still believed stranded in the Andaman Sea.

Malaysian police say a total of 139 grave sites were found near 28 abandoned camps close to the Thai border, the latest grim turn in Southeast Asia's migrant crisis.

26 May 2015 description

IOM Appeals for USD 26 million for Migrants in SE Asian Boat Crisis

Thailand - IOM is appealing for USD 26 million to assist up to 10,000 people affected by the migrant crisis in the Andaman Sea. The bulk of the money will go towards temporary shelter, food, water, and other material aid. Provision is also made for psychosocial support, and for the eventual return and reintegration of those who wish to go back to their countries of origin.

25 May 2015 description

NEPAL

Following the 7.8M earthquake which struck on 25 Apr and the 7.3M earthquake on 12 May, a total of 8,631 people are confirmed dead, with 14 bodies still unidentified. Nearly 460 health facilities are destroyed. Over 25,000 classrooms collapsed while an additional 10,000 require repair. 456 health facilities destroyed 25,000 classrooms destroyed The monsoon rains are expected to arrive in two weeks, further complicating relief efforts by blocking access routes and exposing over 760,000 families with damaged or destroyed homes to heavy rainfall.1

24 May 2015 description
report AlertNet

By Alisa Tang

BANGKOK, May 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Resettling asylum seekers who are among the thousands of boat people in temporary shelters in Indonesia and Malaysia will prove "extremely difficult" due to the mounting refugee crises around the world, a U.N. official said.

Read the full article on AlertNet

23 May 2015 description

Yangon, Myanmar | AFP | Saturday 5/23/2015 - 09:06 GMT

by Hla-Hla HTAY

A group of migrants recently rescued by Myanmar will be deported to Bangladesh, officials confirmed Saturday, as the United Nations chief called on regional nations to prioritise saving the lives of those still stranded at sea.

Southeast Asia is currently battling an exodus of boat people fleeing persecution and poverty, with up to 2,000 vulnerable migrants thought to be stranded in the Bay of Bengal, many at the mercy of ruthless people smugglers.

22 May 2015 description

This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva.

UNHCR welcomes the landing today of more than 200 people who had been stranded at sea off the coast of Rakhine State, Myanmar. Following their disembarkation, they were taken to a reception centre in southern Maungdaw where they are receiving immediate assistance.

22 May 2015 description

Indonesia - The migrant crisis in Southeast Asia has entered a new phase, with over half of those originally estimated to be at sea now on dry land, some for the first time in almost four months.

IOM welcomed the positive statement made by Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand on Wednesday (20/5), but says there is still much to be done.

22 May 2015 description

Turkey’s initiatives at the regional and international level continue in order to ensure a rapid response to the tragedy of thousands of Rohingyas and Bengalis, who, as they were being taken from Myanmar and Bangladesh to Indonesia and Thailand by human traffickers, were stranded in the Andaman Sea in their boats.

In this context, we have pledged 1 million US dollars to the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to be used for humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas and Bengalis.

22 May 2015 description
report HART

A new report from Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) detailing ongoing human rights abuses, land expropriation and military offensives committed by the Burmese Army against the ethnic national peoples in Burma.

The report is based upon findings from a recent visit to Burma, with interviews conducted with IDPs within Shan State and representatives from Community Based Organisations (CBOs) working with the Shan, Kachin, Karen and Karenni people.

Key findings:

21 May 2015 description
report Human Rights Watch

(New York, May 22, 2015) – One year after seizing power, Thailand’s military junta has used dictatorial power to systematically repress human rights throughout the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), led by Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, has prosecuted critics of military rule, banned political activity, censored the media, and tried dissidents in unfair military courts.

21 May 2015 description

GENEVA (21 May 2015) – A group of United Nations human rights experts welcomed the Malaysian, Indonesian and Thai leaders’ decision not to pushback migrants and asylum seekers arriving in their territorial waters. They also urged the international community to assist the countries affected by supporting financially and materially their efforts to protect the human rights of all migrants.