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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 Apr 2017 description

A Papua New Guinea MP has urged Australia's Minister of Immigration to reveal evidence behind a claim about unrest on Manus Island.

Read the full story on Radio New Zealand International.

28 Apr 2017 description

A dengue fever outbreak in Nauru has now hit about 10 per cent of asylum seekers at the Australian-run regional processing centre.

Read the full story on Radio New Zealand International.

28 Apr 2017 description
report The Irrawaddy

By Saw Yan Naing 28 April 2017

MAE LA, Thailand — Eighty-year-old Karen refugee Naw Pe lies near the cooking area in her bamboo hut, surrounded by pans, pots, baskets, and rotting foods.

She has a fever, coupled with the stifling midday heat, and her hands shake as she moves out of her mosquito net.

“I’m supposed to feed the pigs,” she whispers, pausing for breath. “But I can’t stand up. I’m too sick.”

27 Apr 2017 description


  • Insecurity, access limitations remain concerns in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan

  • UN cites humanitarian and human rights concerns among Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine

  • Tropical Cyclone Maarutha makes landfall, damaging some infrastructure


27 Apr 2017 description
report The Irrawaddy

By Saw Yan Naing 26 April 2017

MAE SARIANG, Thailand — Some 10,000 community workers in nine refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border will be affected by financial cuts as funding declines, according to sources from the refugee community and aid agencies.

The cuts were announced at a meeting held by the international humanitarian agency The Border Consortium (TBC) in Mae Sot last weekend.

The reduced stipend for camp community workers will begin in July, said Saw Tu Tu, a leader within the Karen Refugee Committee (KRC) who attended the meeting.

26 Apr 2017 description

Australia has been labelled 'a rogue state' by lawyers troubled by the pending deportation of a Manus Island asylum seeker from Papua New Guinea.

Read more on Radio New Zealand International

26 Apr 2017 description

At 28 February 2017, there were 1,383 people in immigration detention facilities, including 1,119 in immigration detention on the mainland and 264 in immigration detention on Christmas Island.

A further 550 people were living in the community after being approved for a residence determination and 24,760 were living in the community after grant of a Bridging Visa E.

25 Apr 2017 description

by Beh Lih Yi | @BehLihYi | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 04:00 GMT

"Revolutionary" app aims to increase public empathy toward the plight of refugees

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A ping on Kathijah's phone. The Rohingya girl picks up the message, it is from her brother Ishak in Myanmar.

"Kat, r u safe?" he writes. "It was a raid, they found us. Had to run," he said, before sending a video message of him running in a jungle that was abruptly cut off.

25 Apr 2017 description

Myanmar's march to democracy, beginning in 2011, uncorked long-suppressed ethnic and religious tensions between Rakhine's Buddhists and the Rohingya

By Antoni Slodkowski, Wa Lone, Simon Lewis and Krishna N. Das

BALUKHALI CAMP, Bangladesh, April 25 (Reuters) - When army helicopters fired on Rahim's village in northwest Myanmar one day last November, the Rohingya schoolteacher told his pregnant wife to take their three young daughters and leave. He stayed behind with his 72-year-old mother.

25 Apr 2017 description

KUALA LUMPUR, 25 April 2017 (UNHCR) – Advertising agency Grey Malaysia in partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today launched “Finding Home” – a revolutionary smartphone application that allows users to experience a refugee’s journey of survival through an interactive experience. The application aims to increase awareness and empathy among the public on the refugee issue, through the story of a Rohingya refugee child as she is forced to flee her homeland.

25 Apr 2017 description

IOM Bangladesh rolled out the first round of Needs and Population Monitoring (NPM) in Cox’s Bazaar from 21 – 28 March 2017. The assessment collected baseline information on Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMN) including their location, population numbers, movement trends and a preliminary overview of needs. The assessment was conducted in 3 makeshift settlements and 41 host community locations, and estimates that 132,138 UMNs are living in assessed locations in Teknaf and Ukhiya Upazila. An estimated 63,705 individuals are new arrivals.

23 Apr 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

22 Apr 2017 description

The Senate
Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee

Chair's foreword

Australia's policy of offshore processing has been the subject of a number of Senate inquiries. These inquires have been highly critical of many aspects of the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) policy.
The evidence which this committee has received has fallen primarily within three main areas:

  • the operation and administration of RPCs, including service delivery, incident reporting, and health, safety and welfare;

21 Apr 2017 description
report Start Network

Emergency aid will be able to reach communities in Bangladesh more quickly through a new local crisis response fund set up by a global network of aid agencies.

The £10 million Start Fund Bangladesh, designed to enabled aid agencies to respond early and fast to under-the-radar emergencies, has been set up by the Start Network and is funded by the UK government.

From this month (April) it can activate funding within 72 hours of receiving a crisis alert, and is accessible to national and international Start Network member NGOs within Bangladesh.

21 Apr 2017 description


  • The WFP Bangladesh Country Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2020 was approved by the WFP Executive Board in February in its First Regular Session of 2017. It will replace the Country Programme and Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation starting on 01 April 2017.

21 Apr 2017 description

Over the past seven months Myanmar has experienced a surge in new displacement in four states, while humanitarian organizations simultaneously faced severe constraints on access. Border post attacks on 9 Oct 2016 and subsequent security operations triggered a new humanitarian crisis in northern Rakhine. Intensified conflict resulted in new displacement in Kachin and northern Shan. Thousands were also relocated in Kayin State due to fighting in Sep 2016.

20 Apr 2017 description

People brought to Australia under the Federal Government’s refugee resettlement program have the most to lose from foreshadowed changes to the citizenship process, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) says.

RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power said the tougher English language requirements and the restrictions on the number of times an applicant can sit the citizenship test would most likely result in fewer former refugees seeking citizenship and more failing in their attempts to become citizens.

18 Apr 2017 description

By Joy Kisselpar

Authorities in Papua New Guinea are investigating a shooting at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island allegedly committed by PNG Defence Force personnel on Friday.

The soldiers allegedly fired shots into the detention centre after a fight with asylum seekers.

The shooting was reportedly in response to an earlier fight between asylum seekers and PNG Defence Force personnel from the adjacent Lombrum Naval Base.

18 Apr 2017 description
report Voice of America

KUTAPALONG CAMP, BANGLADESH — A spate of disappearances among the children of displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh is raising fears the children have been abducted into the region’s human trafficking networks.

In the past seven months, about 70,000 Rohingya have fled a military onslaught in their home country of Myanmar, and there are concerns the newly arrived status of the latest refugees makes them particularly vulnerable to abduction and exploitation.