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Refugees/Migrants - South-East Asia

Refugees and migrants on the Bay of Bengal represent a key regional protection issue. Approximately 12 of every 1,000 people who embark on mixed maritime movements from the Bay of Bengal do not survive the boat journey. This means as many as 2,000 Bangladeshis and Rohingya may have died before ever reaching land between 2012 and 2015 — adding up to a fatality rate higher than in the Mediterranean Sea. (UNHCR, 23 Feb 2016)

Maritime movements have declined due to intensified interdiction efforts, greater awareness of the risks, and lack of legal status in destination countries. There have been no large-scale mixed maritime movements in South-East Asia since May 2015, when more than 5,000 refugees and migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar were abandoned by smugglers on the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. (UNHCR, 30 June 2016)

However, the root causes of refugee flows have not been resolved. In October 2016, attacks on border guard posts in Myanmar's northern Rakhine — and the security operations that followed — triggered mass displacement. UN officials in Bangladesh estimate that more than 74,000 people, most of whom identify as Rohingya, crossed the border into Cox's Bazar district. UNICEF estimates that 57 per cent of the newly arrived are children. Significant humanitarian needs remain, months later. Some of those who fled to Bangladesh have since returned to northern Rakhine, but exact numbers are not known as returnees are keeping a low profile. (OCHA, 29 May 2017)

Some 119,876 people in Rakhine state were already displaced due to previous outbreaks of violence in 2012. (Shelter Cluster, 15 Feb 2017)

All Updates on Refugees/Migrants - South-East Asia

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20 Jul 2017 description

Rakhine State, Myanmar still experiences ongoing conflicts between the Rakhine and Muslim communities. Since October 2016, this unrest has led to not only the displacement of tens of thousands but also a lack of access to basic necessities and health-care for those affected. ICRC continues to work with the Ministry of Health and Sports in strengthening health-care services for local communities, especially those in rural Rakhine.

20 Jul 2017 description

Refugee Council of Australia CEO Paul Power has today asked Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to end the offshore detention regime now that the government has “made its point about boat arrivals clearly to the world”.

In a letter to Mr Turnbull on the fourth anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s establishment of the “regional resettlement arrangement” with Papua New Guinea, Mr Power highlights the growing level of concern and despair within Australia about the nation’s treatment of over 2000 people held indefinitely in PNG and Nauru, most of whom have been found to be refugees.

18 Jul 2017 description
  • 33%of international migrants are from G20 countries

  • 50% of international migrants reside in G20 countries

  • 122 million migrants live in G20 countries, representing 2.6% of the total population

18 Jul 2017 description

This paper was presented by Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia, for a panel discussion on Refugees and Responsibility at ‘Rethinking governance in an era of global insecurities, regional tensions and rising nationalism’, an international conference hosted by the University of Melbourne’s EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges, 17 July 2017

Thinking regionally, not globally

17 Jul 2017 description

Total arrivals (1 Jan - 16 Jul 2017): 93,213
Total arrivals (1 Jan - 16 Jul 2016): 79,840

Total arrivals 1 Jul - 16 Jul 2017 9,461
Total arrivals 1 Jul - 16 Jul 2016 9,618

Average daily arrivals in July 2017 so far: 591
Average daily arrivals in June 2017: 784

Dead and missing in 2017 (as of 16 Jul) 2,174
Dead and missing in 2016 (as of 16 Jul) 2,951
Dead and missing in 2016 5,096

17 Jul 2017 description

By Colin Packham and Yeganeh Torbati

SYDNEY/WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) - U.S. officials interviewing refugees held in an Australian-run offshore detention centre left the facility abruptly, three detainees told Reuters on Saturday, throwing further doubt over a plan to resettle many of the detainees in America.

U.S. officials halted screening interviews and departed the Pacific island of Nauru on Friday, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the United States had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

17 Jul 2017 description

To continue delivering humanitarian services, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) with the support from the International Federation of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (IFRC DREF), an emergency operation was conducted to provide immediate assistance to the Filipino returnees from the state of Sabah in Malaysia.

As of July 14, 2017, more than 3,000 returnees have arrived in Zamboanga City since the crisis started on February 15. Most of the returnees are from the eastern part of Sabah such as Semporna, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Sandakan-Romero and Sandakan-Kumunak.

14 Jul 2017 description

Friday, 14 July 2017 00:30 GMT

The worst violence in the refugee camps since the Rohingya began fleeing Buddhist-majority Myanmar more than a quarter of a century ago

By Krishna N. Das

KUTUPALONG MAKESHIFT CAMP, Bangladesh, July 14 (Reuters) - As fellow Muslims were celebrating the end of Ramadan late in June, Noor Ankis and her neighbours buried her husband at the refugee camp in Bangladesh where he had lived for years.

14 Jul 2017 description

By North America correspondent Stephanie March

Refugees in detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru could be delayed entry to the United States after the country hit its annual refugee intake cap yesterday.

The US is assessing many of the hundreds of refugees in those centres for resettlement as part of a deal struck last year with the Australian Government.

13 Jul 2017 description
  • Total Assessments 9

  • Verified Return Villages 4

  • Refugee Villages of Origin 3

Background Information

13 Jul 2017 description
  • Total Assessments 163

  • Verified Return Villages 56

  • Refugee Villages of Origin 110

Background Information

13 Jul 2017 description
  • Total Assessments: 75

  • Verified Return Villages: 36

  • Refugee Villages of Origin: 55 .

Background Information

13 Jul 2017 description
  • Total Assessments 134

  • Verified Return Villages 30

  • Refugee Villages of Origin 58

Background Information

Since June 2013, UNHCR has been piloting a system to assess spontaneous returns in the Southeast of Myanmar, a process that may start in the absence of an organized Voluntary Repatriation operation.

13 Jul 2017 description
  • Total Assessments 503

  • Verified Return Villages 187

  • Refugee Villages of Origin 304

Background Information

13 Jul 2017 description
  • Total Assessments 122

  • Verified Return Villages 61

  • Refugee Villages of Origin 78

Background Information

13 Jul 2017 description
  • 6.8 M required for 2017

  • 0 contributions received

  • 6.8 M funding gap for the Bay Of Bengal Situation

All figures are displayed in USD

13 Jul 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s refusal to grant visas to a United Nations team investigating abuses against ethnic Rohingya Muslims is a “slap in the face” to victims that risks lumping the country with the world’s “pariah states,” like North Korea, who block independent fact-finding missions, a rights group said Wednesday.

The condemnation came as the arrival of the U.N. human rights envoy to Myanmar was met with protests by residents of troubled Rakhine state, where she is leading a delegation to probe allegations of rights violations carried out on the Rohingya by security forces.

12 Jul 2017 description

This policy brief draws on many years of Refugees International (RI) reporting on the Rohingya, as well as a recent RI mission to Bangladesh, where RI Senior Advocate for Human Rights Daniel Sullivan interviewed recent Rohingya arrivals who fled Myanmar beginning in late 2016. This policy brief is being issued in advance of a separate report on the situation of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, which will be issued on July 13, 2017.