Malaysia: Asylum seekers protected from current fate of Burmese refugees

A short drama that follows Burmese refugee Roi Roi’s search for a real home in Malaysia, shedding light on the human rights abuse of refugees displaced in the country.

Well-informed report about human trafficking across the Malaysian-Thai border

Last month, a rare blessing crept into the lives of an overlooked group resigned to the plight of stateless survival in Southeast Asia. The controversial Malaysia Swap deal, spearheaded by the government of Julia Gillard, Australia’s Prime Minister, hit a wall when courts finally recognized Malaysia’s inability to provide for refugees. The deal sought out to establish a four-year “swap,” kicking off by trading 800 asylum seekers on Christmas Island (Australia) for 4,000 refugees in Malaysia — a deal Gillard’s coalition mooted would deter refugees from making dangerous journeys in precarious boats across the storm-prone waters of the Indian Ocean.

Gillard’s specious proposition lacked empirical knowledge of the lives most refugees face today in Malaysia. The 1951 Refugee Convention and it’s subsequent protocol were never signed by Malaysia, which means refugees that make their way to Malaysia become abused by a system that renders them stateless persona non grata.

Ninty percent of the stateless people in Malaysia are purported to come from Burma, according to the UN. They come fleeing economic woes and myriad draconian hardships precipitated by their patently long-standing totalitarian government. They come out because of injustices done and those feared to come. And, mostly, to come to find a new home.

Those who make it through Thailand run the possibility of being detained by the authorities, who are often in collusion with human traffickers.

The video links above depict a short drama and news report about the struggle Burmese refugees face when they find that their promise land has become their prison. Those who are interested to learn more can check out the links below.

Suram (Malaysian human rights group)

Lawyers of Liberty

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