Human Lives Human Rights: UN Human Rights chief Volker Turk on Friday called for a coordinated regional approach to protect thousands of Rohingya risking their lives on perilous sea voyages.
“More than 2,400 Rohingya have sought to leave Bangladesh and Myanmar in 2022 alone, and I am deeply saddened that over 200 have reportedly lost their lives on the way,” Turk said in a statement.
“Recent reports indicate that overcrowded and unsafe boats carrying Rohingyas have been left to drift for days on end without any help.”
He urged countries in the region to come up with a coordination mechanism “to ensure proactive search and rescue, the disembarkation of Rohingya refugees on their territories, and their effective protection.”
An urgent solution must be found to enable the voluntary return of all Rohingya, with “full respect of their dignity and human rights as full and equal citizens of Myanmar,” he added.
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingya, most of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in 2017.