No debemos permitir que el pueblo Rohingya pase al fondo de la agenda internacional

El 2 de diciembre de 2022, un grupo de aproximadamente 180 refugiados Rohingyas abordaron un barco en Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.  Su destino previsto era Malasia, donde muchos esperaban reunirse con familiares y seres queridos, o construir una vida mejor que la que tienen en los campamentos superpoblados, insalubres y cada vez más peligrosos de Bangladesh.

Ellos nunca lo lograron

En una declaración emitida el 25 de diciembre, las Naciones Unidas expresaron su preocupación de que el barco se hubiera hundido después de que desapareció en el mar de Andamán.  Los familiares de quienes estaban a bordo dijeron a The Guardian que tenían pocas esperanzas de que sus familiares todavía estuvieran vivos, y si se confirma, el número de refugiados Rohingya que han muerto en travesías marítimas a Malasia en 2022 se acercaría a 400.

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We must not let the Rohingya people slip to the bottom of the international agenda

On 2 December 2022 a group of approximately 180 Rohingya refugees boarded a boat in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Their intended destination was Malaysia, where many hoped to be reunited with family and loved ones, or to build a better life than the one available to them in the overcrowded, unsanitary and increasingly dangerous camps in Bangladesh.

They never made it.

In a statement issued on 25 December, the United Nations expressed concern that the boat had sank after it went missing in the Andaman Sea. Relatives of those onboard told the Guardian that they had little hope that their family members were still alive, and if confirmed it would bring the number of Rohingya refugees who have died on sea crossings to Malaysia in 2022 close to 400.

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A holistic response to forced migration

Displacement due to adverse circumstances has existed for as long as humankind has walked the earth. Yet in a stark contrast to those fleeing the violence in Ukraine, others genuinely seeking refuge in Europe from dangerous situations today are increasingly dismissed as economic migrants on the grounds of their ethnicity or religious identity. What, or rather who deserves to find refuge and make a country their home is continually being contested. 

Statistically speaking, the world is facing the largest displacement crisis since the Second World War, with close to three million people having fled the war in Ukraine in a matter of weeks. Other individuals and communities are fleeing from some of the most dangerous areas of the world in search of a new life – or to put it bluntly, life at all.

Western countries only host 14% of the world’s refugees

The vast majority of the world’s refugees flee to neighbouring countries, for example to Lebanon in the case of Syrians, or to Bangladesh in the case of Rohingyas from Myanmar/Burma. However, Western nations, where fears of ‘mass migration’ are exploited in populist ethnic and religion-laced politics and loom large on the media landscape, host just 14% of the world’s refugees.

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