3 - 9 July 2015
Compiled by Kate McFarland
- ASEAN launches trafficking victim fund
- Burma rejects UN proposal on Rohingya Muslims
- Should we call the Rohingya crisis a genocide?
1. ASEAN launches trafficking victim fund
Myanmar Times, July 3: “ASEAN launches trafficking victim fund”
- Southeast Asian countries have launched a fund to share the cost of hosting human trafficking victims, after the regional migrant crisis saw victims ping-ponged between countries reluctant to accept them.
- Malaysia’s Home Minister Zahid Hamidi told reporters after a day-long meeting that all 10 members of ASEAN and some international organisations will contribute to the fund, which will be managed by the Jakarta-based ASEAN secretariat.
- Representatives of the US State Department and the UN Refugee Agency also participated in the closed door meeting.
- Malaysia has proposed that each ASEAN member country make an initial US$100,000 contribution towards the fund, the minister said, adding that Singapore has pledged $200,000.
- Mr Zahid singled out Myanmar, which previously snubbed invitations to attend regional meetings to address the migrants issue, saying the country had given assurances that it would “work with other ASEAN countries” to fight human trafficking syndicates.
2. Burma rejects UN proposal on Rohingya Muslims
Democratic Voice of Burma, July 4: “Burma rejects UN proposal on Rohingya Muslims”
- The Burmese government has rejected a proposal from the UN Human Rights Council decision regarding Burma’s ethnic Rohingya Muslims by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC).
- In June, the UN branch unanimously approved a proposal from Pakistan to draw attention to the plight of the Rohingya minority in the country. Burma’s foreign ministry released a statement on 3 July rejecting the proposal, saying that the decision violated the state’s sovereignty and the accusations about human rights abuses were incorrect.
- Burma’s permanent representative to UN has strongly rejected the decision, saying that Burma could not accept the proposal.
3. Should we call the Rohingya crisis a genocide?
Global Post (republished on Rohingya Blogger), July 6: “Should we call the Rohingya crisis a genocide?”
- Outlines the treatment of Rohingya, states that this is clearly ethnic cleansing. But is it genocide? Influential figures are using this term to describe the crisis.
- Analyses the UN definition of genocide, draws parallels to the circumstances of Rohingya.
4. Fears of ‘more suffering’ for Rohingya after monsoon season
Channel NewsAsia, July 6: “Fears of ‘more suffering’ for Rohingya after monsoon season”
- Thai authorities have arrested 65 suspects wanted for human trafficking of Rohingya migrants since May, but experts warned that more needs to be done to stamp out the trafficking network responsible for the "death camps" discovered in southern Thailand and Malaysia.
- One Thai police officer (who wanted to remain anonymous) said he feared the traffickers may change tactics from transporting migrants in large numbers, to trafficking them in small groups or even one-by-one.
- The monsoon has halted the traffic carrying Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants but once the stormy season is over there could be more migrant boats arriving, according to the Deputy Director of the Human Rights Watch's Asia division, Phil Robertson.
- "Unless these trafficking networks are eradicated we will see more suffering," Robertson said, adding that the humanitarian situation in Rakhine state in western Myanmar has worsened since the sectarian violence in 2012.