New York, 31 December 2022 (TDI): The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Chief, Volker Turk has called for coordinated regional action to protect the hundreds of desperate Rohingya. Those who embark on risky sea voyages are jeopardizing their lives.

He expressed these views in a statement released by the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. Turk stated: “More than 2,400 Rohingya have sought to leave Bangladesh and Myanmar alone in 2022.”

“I am sad that over 200 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.” He continued.

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The chief noted the assistance provided by some countries. In this vein, he said, “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.

To help the disembarkation of Rohingya refugees on their territories and their effective protection.” Turk urged countries in the region to assist Bangladesh in assisting the roughly one million Rohingya refugees who have sought safety there since 2017.

Along these lines, he reiterated, “Clearly, an urgent solution is needed to enable the voluntary return of all Rohingya, with full respect for their dignity and human rights as full and equal citizens of Myanmar.”

Myanmar refugee status

The UN estimates that throughout the reporting period, there were approximately 1,473,000 IDPs living in Myanmar. 1,143,000 people are displaced in February 2021.

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The security environment in Chin State, Sagaing, and Magway Regions in the North-West are still tense. Airstrikes, arson, and displacement brought on by ongoing military conflicts continue.

Access to humanitarian aid has reportedly been difficult, especially in the region of Sagaing, where the needs are greatest. Winter conflict is only going to get worse, putting innocent people at risk of attack.

Consequently, food shortages and limited humanitarian support due to movement restrictions have affected communities. All these situations have led the Myanmar people to seek refuge elsewhere.