What should ASEAN leaders do to #HelpRohingya

What should ASEAN leaders do to #HelpRohingya
How would you like ASEAN leaders to address this growing migrant and humanitarian crisis in Southeast Asia? Share your message using the hashtag #HelpRohingya.

MANILA, Philippines – How should leaders from Southeast Asian nations address the intensifying migrant and humanitarian crisis involving Rohingya refugees?

The Rohingya refugees have been making headlines as their search for a country to welcome them continues. (READ: FAST FACTS: Who are the Rohingya?

Until recently, nearby countries Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand have responded to the plight of the Rohingya refugees by pushing them away from their shores. Critics accused Southeast Asian nations of playing a game of “human ping pong” at the expense of the lives of the boat people.  

On Wednesday, May 20, Malaysia and Indonesia offered to provide “temporary shelters” to thousands of migrants stranded at sea, provided they could be resettled or repatriated within a year. The Philippines had earlier said it is open to sheltering up to 3,000 “boat people” from Myanmar and Bangladesh. The move comes after mounting global pressure on Southeast Asian countries to help thousands of the starving migrants. 

STATELESS. A Rohingya child cries at a refugee camp at Kuala Langsa, Aceh, Indonesia. More than 8,000 migrants are adrift off the coasts of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, posing a potential humanitarian crisis for the region's governments. Photo by Jun Ha/EPA

Share your #HelpRohingya message

Despite this welcome effort by Indonesia and Malaysia to provide a temporary shelter for the boat people, a long-term solution to address the plight of the Rohingya refugees is still lacking. 

ASEAN still needs a regional framework on refugees. Only two ASEAN member states – the Philippines and Cambodia – have signed on to the UN Refugee Convention.

How would you like ASEAN leaders to address this migrant and humanitarian crisis? 

Post your messages addressed to the ASEAN leaders on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #HelpRohingya. Don’t forget to make your posts public. MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm will be featuring select messages on a page.

As members of Southeast Asian nations, let us work on making a collective stand on this migrant and humanitarian crisis.  Rappler.com 


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