Thousands of Rohingya refugees to flee by boat in ‘looming disaster’, Amnesty warns
Human traffickers will resume their brutal trade across southeast Asia despite a regional crackdown, Amnesty International has warned, as it detailed the “hellish” abuses migrants have suffered at the hands of gangmasters.
Tens of thousands of persecuted Myanmar Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi economic migrants have fled across the Andaman Sea in recent years, usually to Malaysia, as part of a lucrative trade controlled by smuggling gangs.
Crossings tend to halt over the dangerous summer monsoon season and restart in October, while the people smuggling trade was thrown into disarray earlier this year by a crackdown on gangs in Thailand.
But Amnesty says that crackdown and promises by regional governments to address the crisis have done little to dismantle criminal networks or persuade people against making the crossings.
“There’s another disaster looming on the Andaman Sea unless governments act urgently,” Anna Shea, refugee researcher at Amnesty International, told AFP.
Genocide takes many forms. It is not merely those instances in which an ethnic group is systematically exterminated through mass executions. It may also manifest itself as nothing more obvious than a callous indifference to the social and political disenfranchisement of a people.
Denying persons a right to vote; denying persons a right to housing; denying persons a right to free speech; denying persons a right to earn a living; denying persons a right to a free exercise of their religious beliefs and cultural traditions; denying persons access to education; and denying persons access to their ancestral homes and legitimate properties.
Jews, Native Americans, African-Americans, Armenians and Palestinians are all living peoples with surviving cultures. But make no mistake in understanding that all are victims of cultural genocide.
Genocide is not an isolated historical curiosity of World War II. It is a continuing and pervasive social and political reality of the world we live in.