Unwanted: Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims

Thousands flee to escape poverty and persecution.


  1. Indonesia has joined four Malaysian navy ships in the search for Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi migrants stranded at sea. The decision to aid the desperate migrants comes just days after Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia refused to let the overcrowded boats disembark on their shores.
  2. Rohingya Migrants Abandoned At Sea
  3. The reported increase of migrants stuck at sea follows a recent crackdown on human traffickers. After repeated denials of the existence of human trafficking camps on its soil, Malaysian authorities uncovered 28 suspected human trafficking camps and 139 mass grave sites on May 24. Human rights groups have criticised Thailand and Malaysia for not doing enough to combat the trafficking crisis in their countries.
  4. Mass graves of suspected migrants found in Malaysia
  5. Thousands of Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi migrants have made the perilous journey across the Andaman Sea, fleeing extreme poverty in Bangladesh and political and religious persecution in Myanmar. On their journey, the migrants can face months of starvation, ethnic violence and abuse by traffickers.
  6. “If I had known the boat journey would be so horrendous, I would rather have just died in Myanmar,” said a 19-year-old Rohingya woman after watching her brother die when fighting broke out on her boat. According to the UNHCR, approximately 2,000 Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi migrants have died during the voyage due to conditions on the boat and mistreatment by traffickers.
  7. International pressure from humanitarian organisations and Western governments prompted crisis talks between the ASEAN countries last week where they promised to offer temporary shelter to the migrants for one year. We asked the Stream community what actions regional governments should take to assist Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants.
  8. Many believed Myanmar's government is to blame for the crisis and called on the government to give Rohinyga Muslims citizenship.
  9. Others believed the UN and Western countries could play a greater role in helping to solve the crisis.
  10. Some called for the international community to implement sanctions against Myanmar.
  11. Share your view by voting in our poll: