At least 70 people are estimated to have died at sea on ships abandoned in May this year from starvation, dehydration, disease and abuse by the crews, said the UN Refugee Agency today.
With the new figure, the UNHCR estimates over 1,100 Bangladeshis, Rohingyas of Myanmar have died at sea between January 2014 and June 2015.
The quarterly report of April and June of UNHCR also reports of many who remain missing at sea and cases of drowning while disembarking.
Following the Asian migrant crisis, Malaysia-based regional NGO, CARAM Asia, said that in mid-June over 500 Bangladeshis had been missing at sea.
The deaths in May occurred when Thai authorities began a crackdown following the discovery of mass graves in early May and the regional countries – Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand – had denied accepting the boat people drifting at sea.
In some cases, the vessels of refugees or migrants abandoned by the human traffickers were pushed further out to the sea.
Later, these countries along with Myanmar rescued some 4000 Rohingyas and Bangladeshis. The Bangladeshis are being repatriated, while the Rohingyas remain in the camps.