- ticket title
- Fighting Rages as Libya Force Pushes Toward Key Western City
- Fractured Tunisian Parliament Moves Toward Agreement on PM
- Merkel Stresses That Europe Has An Interest In Preventing The Escalation Of The Conflict In Libya
- The German Chancellor And The Chinese President Discuss Implementing The Outputs Of The Berlin Conference On Libya
- Chad’s Foreign Minister: The Spread Of Arms And The Worsening Situation In The Sahel Have Been Caused By The Libyan Crisis
22 Aug 2014
The outbreak of inter communal violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has forced over 87,000 people to undertake the perilous sea journey across the Bay of Bengal over the past two years, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
Majority of those fleeing the violence are the Rohingya from Myanmar, but also Bangladeshis are among them.
This year alone, UNHCR estimates that over 20,000 migrants have made the long and dangerous journey from Myanmar and Bangladesh to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and beyond.
Adrian Edwards from UNHCR says the migrants were paying human traffickers up to $300 for the journey across the Bay of Bengal.
“These developments take place in the context of a very challenging protection environment for refugees in the region. States including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia are not signatory to the refugee convention and lack formal legal frameworks for dealing with refugees. Without a legal status they are often at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation under immigration laws. It also makes legal employment impossible and drives many people, including women and children, into exploitative and vulnerable situations. There are also unconfirmed reports of deaths due to illness, heat, a lack of food and water and severe beatings when people tried to move. Some passengers reportedly jumped off boats in desperation.”
UNHCR says more than 7,000 asylum seekers and refugees who have travelled by sea are held in detention facilities in the region, including over 5,000 in Australia or its offshore processing centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.