UNHCR welcomes commitment to resolve migrant crisis
The UN Refugee agency, UNHCR, welcomed the commitment announced today by the foreign ministers of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand to resolve the issue of the thousands of refugees and migrants stranded in boats in the Bay of Bengal and off the coast of Southeast Asia.
“This is an important initial step in the search for solutions to this issue, and vital for the purpose of saving lives,” says a statement.
The UN said that it is an emergency for people to be brought ashore without delay, and that immediate first aid and other assistance be provided for all who are in need.
“We are looking forward to see this happen without delay,” it said.
UNHCR agrees with the Ministers that further action will be needed. This includes addressing root causes. It will need to take into account, scrutinize at the needs of those in need of international protection.
“As with other regions of the world where we are seeing large movements of people by sea, countries in the region will need to work together for this to be addressed meaningfully and successfully,” the statement said.
UNHCR itself is ready to work with countries in the region to find solutions to the plight of these people. These ultimately may include returning people to their home countries voluntarily and once conditions allow.