UN HUMAN RIGHTS chief Volker Türk has called for a coordinated regional approach to protect the thousands of desperate Rohingya who risk their lives by undertaking perilous sea voyages.
“More than 2,400 Rohingya have sought to leave Bangladesh and Myanmar in 2022 alone, and I am deeply saddened that over 200 have reportedly lost their lives on the way. Recent reports indicate that overcrowded and unsafe boats carrying Rohingyas have been left to drift for days on end without any help”, said Türk.
“As the crisis at sea continues, I urge countries in the region to put in place a coordination mechanism to ensure proactive search and rescue, the disembarkation of Rohingya refugees on their territories, and their effective protection”, he added, noting that some States had already provided assistance.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights called on countries in the region and globally to help Bangladesh support the over one million Rohingya refugees who have sought protection there since 2017.
Clearly, an urgent solution must be found to enable the voluntary return of all Rohingya, with full respect of their dignity and human rights as full and equal citizens of Myanmar, he added.