Malaysia: Rohingya Refugees Hope for Litte and Receive Less

Tuesday, 17 November, 2015
Extract from the report: It’s been six months since as many as 1,000 Rohingya fleeing from Myanmar died in the Andaman Sea. And still, neighboring nations remain resistant to recognizing the Rohingya people’s rights as refugees. Even after neighboring governments met earlier this year and agreed to protect the Rohingya at sea, no nation has taken a leadership role in permitting them to disembark from boats safely and legally. The absence of a regional plan leaves the Rohingya vulnerable to the challenges of a perilous sea voyage, and further strands those Rohingya who have lived in Malaysia and other regional nations for up to three generations without legal rights or protection. Without a doubt, Myanmar is creating this crisis. But that fact does nothing to negate the rights of Rohingya to remain in neighboring nations while serious threats to their lives exist in Myanmar, and to be treated with dignity and respect. Regional nations, particularly Malaysia, must act now to ensure that Rohingya fleeing persecution can disembark from boats and secure protection, and that those already inside Malaysia can live in safety and without the constant threat of detention and extortion by the police. It is past time for the international community to demand more from both Myanmar and neighboring countries, as well as the UN agencies mandated to protect the Rohingya. 
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