CM – Rohingyas face deadlier voyages in the bay of the Andaman Sea: UNHCR

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Employee correspondent |

Published: 00:01 AM, August 20, 2021

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced on Thursday that 2020 was the deadliest year for Rohingya trips to the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

In 2020, the Covid pandemic triggered many states in Southeast Asia to tighten their borders, which has resulted in most refugees stranded at sea since the region’s “boat crisis” in 2015, according to a press release.

The new UNHCR report, entitled “ Left Adrift at Sea: Dangerous Journeys of Refugees through the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea “also points out that about two-thirds of those who attempted these dangerous journeys were women and children.

These deadly journeys are not new Phenomenon. Over the past decade, thousands of Rohingyas have departed by sea from Rakhine State in Myanmar and from Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The roots of these dangerous journeys lie in Myanmar, where the Rohingyas were robbed of their citizenship and their basic rights.

“For the Rohingyas who have found refuge in neighboring countries, mobility restrictions, livelihoods and education are imperative to a future elsewhere in to look for the region. The motivations are diverse, often overlap and also include the desire to meet with family members, ”it says.

The risks for travelers have increased significantly. Of the 2,413 known to have traveled in 2020, 218 died or went missing at sea. The journeys in 2020 were eight times more deadly than in 2019.

Since 2020, many refugees have been stuck for months on unseaworthy boats, become victims of smugglers, become seriously ill from insufficient food and water and endure the harsh conditions at sea, below it scorching heat as well as treacherous waves and storms. These risks have been extended when states have « pushed back » boats to prevent disembarkation, she added.

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