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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand met in Putrajaya, Malaysia on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 to discuss the issue of irregular movement of people into Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. This is with a view to finding a solution to the crisis of influx of irregular migrants and its serious impact on the national security of the affected countries.
They agreed to resolve this issue in keeping with the spirit of unity and solidarity of ASEAN as well as the aspiration to have a people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN.
Human smuggling from the Bangladesh-Myanmar borderland cannot be effectively tackled by short-term quick-fixes. For a sustainable solution, both Bangladesh and Myanmar have to take effective action against human trafficking through building their institutional capacity and addressing the socio-economic causes behind human smuggling.