refugees news and updates

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U.S. VP Mike Pence criticizes Suu Kyi over Myanmar treatment of Rohingya

Nov 14, 2018 - 6:02 PM

Pence adds to the pressure on Suu Kyi, who this week has had an Amnesty International honor revoked and faced sharp words from Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad

US Vice President Mike Pence (R) listens to Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore on November 14, 2018.  Bernat Armangue / POOL / AFP

Amnesty International strips Aung San Suu Kyi of highest honor

Nov 13, 2018 - 10:45 PM

'Amnesty International cannot justify your continued status as a recipient of the Ambassador of Conscience award and so with great sadness we are hereby withdrawing it from you,' says the group

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at a business forum on the sidelines of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore on November 12, 2018.  Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

Why Philippines and Indonesia are prone to natural hazards

Oct 18, 2018 - 7:35 PM

Just like Indonesia, the Philippines has a big earthquake looming in its future. This raises an important question: what makes the Philippines and Indonesia prone to natural hazards?

19 killed as migrant vehicle crashes in Turkey

Oct 14, 2018 - 5:56 PM

Numbers of migrants crossing into Europe have fallen since 2015 but people are still undertaking what is a highly perilous journey

Young girls primary victims of humanitarian strife

Sep 24, 2018 - 10:12 AM

An NGO says girls in refugee camps suffer abuse from forced marriage to denial of schooling and are '14 times more likely to die than boys in a conflict'

Released Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped from their school in Dapchi, in the northeastern state of Yobe, wait to meet the Nigerian president at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 23, 2018.  The Nigerian president promised on March 23, 2018 to free the remaining Christian schoolgirl still held by the Islamist militants Boko Haram, as he prepared to meet the other released Dapchi students. A total of 104 of the 110 students seized from the school in Dapchi on February 19 were released on March 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIP OJISUA / “The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by PHILIP OJISUA has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [school girls ] instead of [Christian school girls ]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.”

The week in photos: July 28-August 3, 2018

Aug 04, 2018 - 7:54 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

VIETNAM ATTRACTION. Visitors walk along the 150-meter long Cau Vang "Golden Bridge" in the Ba Na Hills near Danang on July 31, 2018.  Photo by Linh Pham/AFP

Syrian refugee return must be voluntary – UN

Jul 24, 2018 - 1:08 PM

'It is up to people to... no one should be forced to return,' UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric says following an agreement between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump to work together on the safe return of Syrian refugees

GOING HOME. In this file photo, a Syrian refugee rests on the side of the road as he returns to Syria with his family after crossing the Jordanian border near the town of Nasib, in the southern province of Daraa, on August 29, 2017. File photo by Mohamad Abazeed/AFP

Israel evacuates 800 White Helmets to Jordan in face of Syria advance

Jul 22, 2018 - 3:33 PM

The Jordanian government accepts the Syrian White Helmets rescuers and their families from Israel and plans to transfer them to Britain, Germany, and Canada

RESCUE. Syrian rescuers, known as White Helmets, recover bodies in Zardana, in the mostly rebel-held northern Syrian Idlib province, following air strikes in the area late on June 7, 2018. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Thousands protest Australia's refugee detention policy

Jul 21, 2018 - 5:24 PM

Hundreds march through Sydney shouting, "Free, free the refugees," with banners stating, "Five years too long, evacuate Manus and Nauru."

'BRING THEM HERE.' Demonstrators march during a protest to demand humane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, in Sydney on July 21, 2018. Photo by Peter Parks / AFP

Austria mulls migrant reception centers outside EU

Jun 13, 2018 - 5:04 PM

'There are efforts underway to create sanctuaries outside Europe, where we can accommodate refugees and offer protection, but not a better life in central Europe,' Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says

SEBASTIAN KURZ. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz delivers his speech during the conference of the CDU Economic Council, "Economy Day 2018" in Berlin, on June 12, 2018. Photo by Jens Büttner/dpa/AFP

Netanyahu warns Merkel of new refugee crisis sparked by Iran

Jun 05, 2018 - 1:06 PM

'This will inflame another religious war – this time a religious war inside Syria and the consequences will be many, many more refugees and you know where exactly they will come,' says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

ON IRAN. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address a press conference after a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on June 4, 2018. Photo by Tobias Schwarz/AFP

Over 100 migrants escape from Libya trafficking camp

May 26, 2018 - 8:19 PM

'This is another example of the ongoing horrors suffered by many migrants and refugees while transiting through Libya,' says Doctors Without Borders

One family, 4 countries – the dispossession of the Rohingya

May 25, 2018 - 7:35 PM

A story of a Rohingya family torn apart by brutality and with nowhere to go

ONE FAMILY. In this photograph taken on April 7, 2018, Rohingya Muslim refugees (from left) Robi Alam, 16; Mohammad Hashim, 17; Mohammad Jaber, 18; and Abul Faiz, 12, pose for a photograph at their house in Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district. Photo by Munir Uz Zaman/AFP

In 360 video: Hope for Marawi a year after the siege

May 23, 2018 - 7:39 PM

Make a donation now to give hope and to empower Marawi residents as they rebuild their lives

Key sites during the Marawi siege. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

Myanmar orders Rohingya to leave tense border zone

May 20, 2018 - 6:01 PM

The messages, broadcast in Burmese and Rohingya, warned the refugees to 'leave the area under Myanmar's jurisdiction or face prosecution'

Beijing urges ceasefire after deadly Myanmar border clashes

May 13, 2018 - 6:23 PM

Observers believe Beijing holds significant sway over the ethnic rebels near its border and is a key player in a faltering peace process steered by Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi

UNREST. Internally displaced people set up a campfire for warmth outside a temporary shelter in Danai, Kachin state, on May 12, 2018. Photo by Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Rohingya will be safe in areas 'designated' for them – Myanmar army chief

May 05, 2018 - 4:39 PM

Army chief Min Aung Hlaing also cast doubt on the allegations raised by refugees in Bangladesh, many of whom shared stories of extrajudicial killings, arson and rape

REFUGEES. Rohingya refugees travel on an open-back truck on Teknaf-Cox's Bazar highway near Kutupalong refugee camp in Ukhiya, Bangladesh, on September 3, 2017. Photo by Jasmin Rumi/AFP

Myanmar army chief denies rape of Rohingya as UN visits

May 01, 2018 - 2:11 PM

Rohingya women and girls in Bangladesh have provided consistent accounts of sexual violence – reports verified by conflict monitors – but Min Aung Hlaing says his forces have 'no such history of sexual abuse'

ON ROHINGYA. Myanmar military commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing speaks during the second day of 'Sin Phyu Shin' joint military exercises in the Ayeyarwaddy delta region on February 3, 2018. Photo by Lynn Bo Bo/AFP

The week in photos: April 14-20, 2018

Apr 21, 2018 - 8:19 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

People celebrate at the end of the Color Run 2018 race in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on April 15, 2018.The Color Run is a five kilometres paint race without winners nor prizes, while runners are showered with colored powder at stations along the run. / AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON

Scepticism as Myanmar announces repatriation of first Rohingya family

Apr 15, 2018 - 10:38 AM

(UPDATED) Bangladesh and Myanmar are supposed to begin repatriation in January but the plan is repeatedly delayed as both sides blame the other for a lack of preparation

REFUGEE. File photo of fleeing Rohingya refugees rests under a makeshift shelter near Ukhiya on the Bangladesh border on August 27, 2017, after violence erupted in bordering Myanmar's Rakhine state. AFP PHOTO / Sam JAHAN

Myanmar minister makes landmark visit to Rohingya camp

Apr 11, 2018 - 6:25 PM

This is the first time a Myanmar cabinet member visits the fetid and overcrowded camps since a military crackdown that began last Augustsome 700,000 of the Muslim minority to flee to Bangladesh

HISTORIC VISIT. Myanmar Social Welfare Minister Win Myat Aye (center) talks to Rohingya refugees during his visit to the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh's Ukhia district on April 11, 2018. A Myanmar minister on April 11 toured one of the Bangladesh camps struggling to provide for some one million Rohingya Muslims, the first such visit since a Myanmar army crackdown sparked a massive refugee crisis. Photo by Munir Uz Zaman/AFP

Conditions in Myanmar 'not conducive' to Rohingya return – UN

Apr 08, 2018 - 4:25 PM

(UPDATED) The United Nations says Myanmar must still address 'critical issues of freedom of movement, social cohesion, livelihoods, and access to services'

NO HOME. In this photograph taken on November 12, 2017, women hold children at a makeshift camp in Rakhine state in Myanmar, where hundreds of Rohingya Muslims wait in makeshift camps before finding a way to cross over into Bangladesh. Photo by Phyo Hein Kyaw/AFP

Bangladesh begins relocating Rohingya before monsoon

Apr 01, 2018 - 10:55 PM

The Rohingya refugees are vulnerable to deadly landslides and floods, particularly in the Cox's Bazar region

PLIGHT OF THE ROHINGYA. This picture taken on November 26, 2017, shows Rohingya Muslim refugees looking on near Kutupalong refugee camp at Cox's Bazar. File photo by Ed Jones/AFP

LOOK: Cardinal Tagle washes feet of Chito Soganub, Demafelis parents

Mar 29, 2018 - 8:18 PM

The 12 chosen migrants, refugees, and displaced peoples cry as Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle wash their feet on Maundy Thursday 2018

WASHING OF THE FEET. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle washes the feet of rescued Marawi priest Father Chito Soganub on Holy Thursday. All photos by Maria Tan/Rappler

Listen to OFWs, refugees who left because of love – Tagle

Mar 29, 2018 - 7:57 PM

'Kilalanin sila.... Sa kanilang paglisan, sana hindi sila mag-isa. Samahan sila sa paglalakbay,' says Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

The week in photos: March 17-23, 2018

Mar 24, 2018 - 12:49 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

A refugee child participates in an anti-racist demonstration in Athens on March 17, 2018, marking as well two-years of the EU-Turkey deal and the closing of the borders. The banner reads' fight fortess Europe'. Refugees and solidarity groups condemned the new shipwreck off Agathonissi island earlier today, where 16 refugees drowned. / AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI

Rohingya returnees won't be kept in camps 'forever' – Myanmar official

Mar 17, 2018 - 9:31 PM

Myanmar has been trumpeting its readiness to take back refugees, who are massed across the border in Bangladesh, and built reception centers and transit camps for returnees

MODEL. Buddhist flags hang limply from bamboo poles at the entrance to Koe Tan Kauk, a 'model' village for ethnic Rakhine migrants shuttled north to repopulate an area once dominated by Rohingya Muslims. Photo by Phyo Hein Kyaw/AFP

UN to seek $1B for Rohingya refugee effort in Bangladesh

Mar 11, 2018 - 9:11 PM

'It's a new and evolving crisis. The needs are huge. These people came with nothing. We hope the support will continue,' says Mia Seppo, United Nations country head

AID. A Rohingya refugee child climbs stairs at Hakimpara refugee camp in Bangladesh's Ukhia district on January 27, 2018. The repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar will not begin as planned, Bangladesh said January 22, with authorities admitting "a lot of preparation" was still needed. Photo by Munir Uz Zaman AFP

Aid convoy quits Syria enclave as regime presses onslaught

Mar 06, 2018 - 11:56 AM

Dozens of United Nations trucks reach the main town of Douma, the first aid convoy to arrive since a bloody Russian-backed assault began more than two weeks ago

AID FOR SYRIANS. Displaced Syrians wait to receive aid from Russian soldiers as they return to their villages in the area of Abu al-Duhur on March 4, 2018. Photo by George Ourfalian/AFP

Rohingya exodus still growing, 6 months into crisis

Feb 25, 2018 - 8:37 PM

Myanmar denies seeking to eradicate the minority but refuses to give UN investigators access to an area where thousands of Rohingya are believed to have been killed

PLIGHT OF THE ROHINGYA. This picture taken on November 26, 2017, shows Rohingya Muslim refugees looking on near Kutupalong refugee camp at Cox's Bazar. File photo by Ed Jones/AFP

Rohingya abuses could spark regional conflict – UN rights chief

Feb 05, 2018 - 2:22 PM

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein: 'Myanmar faces a very serious crisis – with a potentially severe impact on the security of the region'

UPHILL CLIMB. A Rohingya refugee child climbs stairs at Hakimpara refugee camp in Bangladesh's Ukhia district on January 27, 2018. Munir Uz Zaman/AFP

Bodies of around 20 migrants recovered from sea – Spanish official

Feb 04, 2018 - 7:34 PM

Spain is the second most popular point of entry for migrants coming to Europe this year

MIGRANTS. Spain is the second most popular entry point for migrants trying to enter Europe by crossing the Mediterranean sea. Photo by Rappler

Myanmar denies report of mass graves in Rakhine

Feb 03, 2018 - 2:26 PM

Myanmar denies the allegation, saying it launched a proportionate crackdown on Rohingya rebels

REFUGE. A Rohingya Muslim refugee child cries as she sits in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar on December 4, 2017. Photo by Ed Jones / AFP

Expelled INC member gets refugee status in Canada

Jan 26, 2018 - 8:52 PM

Canadian authorities say Lowell Menorca II 'is a person in need of protection from a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment and a risk to his life'

ARRESTED. Ex-Iglesia ni Cristo minister Lowell Menorca is secured by police officers after he was presented a warrant of arrest for libel on January 20, 2016. File photo by Lito Boras/Rappler

UN chief concerned about deal on return of Myanmar's Rohingya

Jan 17, 2018 - 1:31 PM

'We believe it would be very important to have UNHCR fully involved in the operation to guarantee that the operation abides by international standards'

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. File photo by Manuel Elias/UN

Around 1,400 migrants rescued in Med, 2 bodies recovered

Jan 17, 2018 - 8:44 AM

Nearly 1,000 people have been rescued and brought to Italy since the start of the year, down 60% on arrivals registered in the same period last year

SAVED. Illegal migrants from Arab and African nationalities arrive at a naval base in the capital Tripoli late on January 15, 2018, after they were rescued off the coast of Zuwara, 130 kilometers (81 miles) West of the Libyan capital. Mahmud Turkia/AFP

Rohingya deal aims to repatriate refugees 'within 2 years'

Jan 16, 2018 - 2:26 PM

(3rd UPDATE) The deal outlines the first clear timeline for a return of hundreds of thousands of refugees

SEEKING HELP. In this file photo, Rohingya refugees from Myanmar's Rakhine state wait for aid at Kutupalong refugee camp in the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf on September 5, 2017. K M Asad/AFP

Unliked: How Facebook is playing a part in the Rohingya genocide

Jan 05, 2018 - 9:47 AM

Facebook’s virtual coercive is one of division, competing realities and a lack of mutual acceptance. In Facebook’s virtual coercive, fiction is reality and lies can validate.

PLIGHT OF THE ROHINGYA. This picture taken on November 26, 2017, shows Rohingya Muslim refugees looking on near Kutupalong refugee camp at Cox's Bazar. File photo by Ed Jones/AFP

‘Pilipino’ receives Indonesian passport

Jan 03, 2018 - 9:36 PM

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi leads the symbolic conferrment of passport to some 20 persons of Indonesian descent living in Mindanao

PASSPORT, FINALLY. Pilipino Mahare Lahindo opens a new chapter in his life, this time as a bonafide Indonesian citizen who is now able to cross legal borders. Photo by Mick Basa/Rappler

UN ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Vinta-hit Mindanao

Dec 29, 2017 - 9:00 PM

(UPDATED) Nearly 140,000 Vinta victims are expected to welcome the new year homeless

RAPID ASSESSMENT. Humanitarian workers from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, conduct rapid assessments in Lanao del Sur towns that were hit by Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin).  Photos by J. Pangalian/UNHCR

PH joins China, Russia vs UN criticism of Myanmar over Rohingya

Dec 25, 2017 - 10:07 AM

The Philippines is one of 10 countries that voted against a UN resolution urging Myanmar to end a military campaign against Muslim Rohingya

PERSECUTION. A child crying at the refugee camp for Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants in Kuala Langsa, Aceh, on May 15, 2015. Photo by EPA

How a peaceful community in Marawi thrives

Dec 23, 2017 - 9:15 AM

Marawi residents directly affected by the war continue to thrive

LOOK: A time to give hope as Marawi City gets back on its feet

Dec 22, 2017 - 8:20 PM

UNHCR advocate Atom Araullo joins the UN Refugee Agency in a visit to a community that was affected by the Marawi crisis. Here are some photos from their humanitarian mission.

RESILIENCE. UNHCR Advocate and broadcast journalist Atom Araullo shares a light moment with Moreg Sarakan, a 100-year-old Maranao woman who fled Marawi when fighting erupted in May 2017. Araullo first met the grandmother at the Buru-un Evacuation Center in July. He returned to the camp this December to visit her. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR   RESILIENCE. UNHCR Advocate and broadcast journalist Atom Araullo shares a light moment with Moreg Sarakan, a 100-year-old Maranao woman who fled Marawi when fighting erupted last May. Araullo first met the grandmother at the Buru-un Evacuation Center last July. He returned to the camp this December to visit her. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

HRW: Myanmar burned Rohingya villages despite refugee deal

Dec 18, 2017 - 8:25 PM

Human Rights Watch says dozens of buildings were burned the same week Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding on November 23

SCORCHED. This file photo taken on September 27, 2017 shows and aerial view of burnt villages near Maungdaw in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state. Photo by STR/AFP

6,700 Rohingya killed in first month of Myanmar violence: MSF

Dec 14, 2017 - 5:24 PM

The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says 'at least 6,700 Rohingya, in the most conservative estimations, are estimated to have been killed, including at least 730 children below the age of 5'

VICTIMS. A Rohingya Muslim refugee walks by night after crossing the border from Myanmar, on the Bangladeshi shores of the Naf river in Teknaf on September 29, 2017. Photo by Fred Dufour/AFP

A Filipino humanitarian's #GiftofHope to the Rohingya, other refugees

Dec 10, 2017 - 4:02 PM

'The good thing is Filipinos are resilient. We learn from every mistake, we convert threats to opportunities, and we are able to still give when we ourselves have outstanding needs. Those are our traits.'

REFUGEES. More than 620,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh within 100 days since the renewed outbreak of violence in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. Photo by Roger Arnold/UNHCR

U.S. pulls out of UN's Global Compact on Migration

Dec 03, 2017 - 6:25 PM

US Ambassador Nikki Haley says the country's decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone

#GiftofHope: Atom Araullo on why Filipinos should care about the Rohingya

Dec 02, 2017 - 6:28 PM

'Just trust in our capacity to care. Ang mga Pilipino, malaki ang mga puso niyan. Puwede nating suportahan ang mga kababayan natin dito habang sinusuportahan ang mga mamamayang nakakaranas ng karahasan at pambubusabos,' says journalist and UNHCR advocate Atom Araullo

ROHINGYA. Atom Araullo talked to Rappler about why they should care about the Rohingya. Photo by Veejay Villafranca/UNHCR

Pope Francis ends Asia tour after meeting Rohingya

Dec 02, 2017 - 3:38 PM

(UPDATED) 'In the name of all those who have persecuted you, who have harmed you, in the face of the world's indifference, I ask for your forgiveness,' says Pope Francis

VISIT. Pope Francis (R) kisses a child as he meets with sick people and staff members of the Mother Teresa House clinic in Dhaka's Tejgaon neighborhood on December 2, 2017. Photo by Andrew Medichini / POOL / AFP

Pope leads Dhaka mass before Rohingya meeting

Dec 01, 2017 - 1:45 PM

Francis, the first pope to visit Muslim-majority Bangladesh in 31 years, arrives in a locally-made popemobile at Suhrawardy Udyan park where nearly 100,000 people wait to celebrate the mass

MASS. Pope Francis performs rituals as he leads mass for Bangladeshi Christians in Dhaka on December 1, 2017. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO/AFP