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COVID-19: Thousands Stranded in the Bay of Bengal

stranded refugees
Stranded Refugees

In the middle of the pandemic, United Nations urged the South-Asian Governments to show compassion to the boats carrying the refugees drifting the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The International Organisation of Migration (IOM), the office of the Head of Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) informed that thousand of people are unable to disembark. The people belong to the Rohingya community from western Myanmar who faced religious persecution linking to ethnic cleansing, said former top UN rights official Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

“We are deeply concerned about reports that boats full of vulnerable women, men and children are again adrift in the same waters, unable to come ashore, and without access to water, food and medical assistance". 5 years also a similar incident happened when thousands of refugees and migrants were cut adrift by people-traffickers.

The UN said it will provide support. The 3 UN agencies offered their support to provide immediate assistance to asylum-seekers, refugees, and vulnerable migrants. Some states have already established arrangements for health screening and quarantine facilities so that people can disembark safely in a dignified manner.

Although there was “no easy solution” to irregular maritime movements of refugees and migrants, the UN appeal insisted that “deterring movements of people by endangering life” was ineffective and violated basic human rights, the law of the sea and international law “by which all States are equally bound”. We recognize that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, States have erected border management measures to manage risks to public health”, the joint statement said.

Thousands of Ethiopian Migrants Stranded in Yemen

10,000 Ethiopian migrant workers are stuck in war-ravaged Yemen, where they face exposure to COVID-19, arbitrary detention, and abuse. International Organization for Migration (IOM) sent an alert saying an airstrike this Sunday in Washhan district killed 7 children and two women.

The country has been popular among migrant workers who want to work in the oil-rich Arabian States to the north of Yemen.

The country has long been a stepping stone for migrants seeking work in the oil-rich Arabian States to the north of Yemen.

Image and Source courtesy: UN

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