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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 — a fatality rate three times 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 out of Myanmar have not been resolved. In October 2016, thousands of people fled their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine state amid a security operation triggered by armed attacks on border posts. (OCHA, 12 Dec 2016)

As of 20 February 2017, an estimated 73,000 people from Myanmar have crossed into Bangladesh since October 2016. At least 24,000 people were also estimated to be internally displaced in Myanmar. (OCHA, 20 Feb 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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28 Mar 2017 description
report Government of Japan
  1. On March 28, the Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of 2 million US dollars to newly arrived displaced persons in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, who were affected by the destabilized situation in northern Rakhine State, Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

28 Mar 2017 description
report The Conversation

The Conversation

Author Ashraful Azad Assistant professor, International Relations, University of Chittagong

28 Mar 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s military chief on Monday called Rohingya Muslims illegal immigrants and defended a recent crackdown on the minority group in the northern part of Rakhine state that led to the deaths of an estimated 1,000 people and the exodus of more than 77,000 Rohingya.

The four-month security clearance operation began last October following deadly attacks on border guard stations that were later blamed on Rohingya militants. Rohingya who escaped to neighboring Bangladesh have accused security forces of indiscriminate killings, arson, torture, and rape.

28 Mar 2017 description

The United Nations refugee agency will refer at least 850 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru for US resettlement, in one of the first signs of how the deal is progressing.

The deal to resettle the refugees was first announced last year while Barack Obama was president.

But for months there has been speculation about the refugee deal, after US President Donald Trump labelled it a "bad deal" during an infamous phone call with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

28 Mar 2017 description

03-03-2017 - This statement provides an update on Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) activities related to the on-water reception and processing of illegal maritime arrivals.

The reporting period is from 1 February 2017 to 28 February 2017.

During this reporting period there were no illegal maritime arrivals transferred to Australian Immigration authorities.

No illegal maritime arrivals were transferred to regional processing centres (RPCs).

27 Mar 2017 description


An estimated 18 million people (about 72 per cent of the total population) across DPRK continue to suffer from food insecurity and undernutrition, as well as a lack of access to basic services. To meet the urgent needs of the 13 million most vulnerable people, the Humanitarian Country Team developed the 2017 Needs and Priorities plan calling for US$114 million to provide critical life-saving assistance.

27 Mar 2017 description

Presentation by Richard Towle, Representative of UNHCR Malaysia

for the International Conference on Rohingya 2017

Marriot Hotel, Putrajaya, Malaysia

14 -- 16 March 2017

24 Mar 2017 description

By Raqibul Alam, IFRC

Just a few months ago, 10-year-old Rameda Begum had a normal life growing up in Rakhine state in western Myanmar. She went to school, played with her friends and enjoyed the company of her family. Now, like thousands of other children who fled an upsurge of violence in northern areas of Rakhine, Rameda is living a life of uncertainty in a makeshift camp in the district of Cox’s Bazar in neighboring Bangladesh. She has no clear news about her home, or when she could return.

24 Mar 2017 description


  • The WFP Bangladesh Country Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2020 was approved at the February 2017 Executive Board Session on 22 February 2017. It will replace the Country Programme and Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation starting on 01 March 2017.

24 Mar 2017 description

The conflict between Burmese government forces and Kokang rebels intensified in the Laogai area yesterday.

According to a TV report on China’s Nansan News, the road between Nansan (Nansanzhen) and Mengdui (Mengduixiang) in China was closed after artillery shells landed nearby.

“Many shells landed. They were fired across the border and landed about two miles inside Chinese territory,” a local said when interviewed by the TV station.

24 Mar 2017 description
report Bangkok Post


PHITSANULOK - Thailand will ask nearly 70,000 refugees displaced by skirmishes in Myanmar to return home, but only on a voluntary basis. Those ready to make the trip back home will be sent only gradually, 3rd Army chief Lt Gen Vijak Siribansop said Thursday.

Nay Pyi Taw has prepared areas for them and current peace talks with armed ethnic groups in Myanmar look promising, he said.

23 Mar 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Myanmar’s military commander-in-chief on Tuesday summoned China’s ambassador to Myanmar to discuss the volatile situation along the border area in northern Shan state where Myanmar ethnic rebels are battling government forces, in a bid to relax relations with the neighboring country strained by the hostilities.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing told Ambassador Hong Liang in the capital Naypyidaw that both countries must cooperate to create peace and stability in the border areas, according to an announcement by the commander-in-chief’s office.

22 Mar 2017 description
report Radio Free Asia

Investigators from a Myanmar commission probing reports of recent violence against Rohingya Muslims in the northern part of restive Rakhine state will draft a “balanced” report based on fact-finding missions in Rakhine villages and refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh, where tens of thousands of the minority group have fled from a crackdown, a member of the body said Tuesday.

22 Mar 2017 description

More than 30,000 people have fled Burma’s restive Kokang autonomous zone in the aftermath of an attack by the region’s dominant ethnic armed group on the administrative capital Laogai earlier this month, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Of that total, over 20,000 have crossed the border into neighbouring China’s Yunnan province, with the rest either internally displaced to other locations in Shan State or part of a contingent of more than 10,000 migrant workers that have left Kokang to return to homes elsewhere in Burma.

21 Mar 2017 description

Huddled in makeshift camps, dependent on food rations and fellow refugees, Rohingya mothers carry hope inspired by their newborn children

By Antoni Slodkowski and Mohammad Ponir Hossain

BALUKHALI, Bangladesh, March 20 (Reuters) - Scared, hungry and badly beaten, Rohingya women fleeing an army crackdown in Myanmar recount harrowing tales of destruction and death: a father burned alive, an uncle slaughtered with a machete, a brother arrested and not heard from again.