[JURIST] Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have faced horrific abuses at sea, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [press release, report] Wednesday, warning of the potential for another “sailing season” crisis. According to AI, many of the Rohingya have been rendered essentially stateless by discriminatory laws and persecution and have become victims of human trafficking. The report took the accounts of more than 100 Rohingya and detailed how many who were attempting to flee the persecution were kidnapped into human trafficking through exploitative methods. Many were reportedly abandoned by those transporting them, suffered beatings, and were subject to sickening and inhumane conditions. AI urged Southeast Asia to stop violence against Rohingya by state and non-state actors, investigate instances of violence against Rohingya, allow Rohingya to remain in the country until their asylum and resettlement forms are processed, among other suggestions designed to keep them safe.
Migration continues to be a serious global problem. In August the British and French governments warned [JURIST report] in a joint article by British Home Secretary Theresa May and French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve that the world is facing a “global migration crisis.” In May the UN human rights chief urged [press release] Southeast Asian governments to take action to protect the lives of migrants [JURIST report] in difficult maritime situations and not turn away incoming migrant boats. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official profile] said that he was “appalled” at reports of these countries pushing these boats back out to sea, leading to many “avoidable deaths.” In February Amnesty International criticized [JURIST report] the EU’s failure to prevent migrant casualties at sea. The statement came amid reports that as many as 300 migrants had died off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa.