Refugees


Bangladesh has brought back 155 of its nationals rescued from the sea by the Myanmar Navy.

They were among 727 prospective migrants rescued recently from the boats of people smugglers on the Bay of Bengal.
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More than 1,000 Kachin civilians have been forced to flee their homes since the Myanmar armed forces carried out airstrikes on positions held by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) near the village of Mali Yang in northern Kachin state last Saturday July 11th, Vatican Radio reported on 20 July.
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Wrapping up a five-day mission to Myanmar, Volker Türk, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection in the United Nations refugee agency called for more concerted support to resolve the plight of displaced people and those with undetermined citizenship in the country.
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It took Azima a month travelling to wed her childhood sweetheart. In that time, the 17-year-old witnessed men beaten to death, starvation, rape and an attempted suicide.
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Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will co-host a meeting on human trafficking prevention and suppression with the Myanmar Police Force in Kanchanaburi province to integrate anti-trafficking operations the Pattaya Mail reported on 19 July.
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Ebadullah can barely stand. Twenty-six years old and from Burma, he’s weak and weathered, but wants to talk. “If someone tried to move in the boat, they would beat us,” he said. “Those who didn’t move were beaten, too.”

Ebadullah is a survivor of human trafficking. He has been deceived, starved, and tortured by members of a transnational criminal syndicate operating in southeast Asia since at least 2012.
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It’s 9am on a Tuesday, and the usual noisiness that accompanies school mornings rings out across the village of Do Ki Ta.
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Bangladesh and Myanmar authorities say no final agreement has been reached on the proposed repatriation of 165 people rescued by the navy in May, despite state media naming July 22 as the possible return date.
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The Global Community, UNICEF, and WHO Urged to Take Prompt Action – 1st Situation Report on ‘Rohingya Children’, SAIRI Research Initiative.
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A leading UN official has called for more support for the 140,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Arakan State, the majority of whom are Rohingya Muslims. However, on the same day – 16 July – Burmese state media released a report suggesting that IDPs have an excess of UN-supplied rations.
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The Burmese government says next week it will repatriate 165 out of what it claims are more than 500 Bangladeshi nationals who were found abandoned at sea off Burma’s coast in May and have been living at temporary camps in Arakan State.
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Thailand will likely avoid US sanctions even if it stays on the lowest tier of an annual State Department human trafficking report, Thailand’s defense minister said on Wednesday, days before the crucial progress report is due out.
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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has written to the parliament urging a regional solution to the boat crisis that erupted in May, as state media reported Myanmar’s navy had discovered more than 100 migrants stranded for weeks on a southern island.
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A United Nations human rights body has joined an international chorus of criticism and urged the government to drop charges against two Phuket online journalists being sued by the Royal Thai Navy for defamation in connection with a Rohingya trafficking story.
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Lilianne Fan returned in early June from the second of two visits to the four camps in Aceh, Indonesia, caring for close to 2,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshis rescued last month from boats left adrift by human traffickers. She is the co-founder of Geutanyoe Foundation an Aceh NGO, and a research fellow with the Humanitarian Policy Group of Britain’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI). She has worked intermittently in Myanmar since the 2008, initially on behalf of the Association of South East Asian Nations. Remarks have been abridged and edited for clarity. In an interview, she talked to Susan Cunningham for Mizzima Weekly in Bangkok about the migrants.
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A plan by officials in Myanmar to issue new identity cards in Rakhine state has fallen short, with only 1,600 Rohingya applying for the green cards according to a report by VOA on 13 July. (more…)

The Burmese navy has recovered 102 men, thought to be asylum seekers from Bangladesh, who were abandoned on the island of Saunggauk, state media reported on Tuesday.
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Australian journalist Alan Morison has been forced to shut down his news website in Thailand as he and a Thai colleague face trial on serious criminal charges today, 14 July, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on 12 July.
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Two journalists with a Thailand-based news website are set to face trial on Tuesday on charges related to the republication of material from a Reuters news agency story in July 2013 alleging members of the Thai military were involved in human trafficking.
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A joint task force of Thai police and anti-human trafficking personnel last week arrested five accomplices and the leader of a human trafficking ring near Bangkok, following the rescue of scores of migrants from Burma who had been confined in a shrimp peeling facility.
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