Hundreds of desperate people flee Myanmar on rickety boats: UNHCR

Listen /

Two displaced boys in Rakhine state play in a river (© UNHCR/S.Kelly)

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) on Friday said it has received worrying reports that more people are leaving on smugglers' boats from the Bay of Bengal.

The agency says this could signal the start of the annual sailing season when thousands of desperate people from Myanmar's Rakhine state risk their lives on rickety boats to find safety and stability elsewhere.

Dan McNorton is UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.

"According to UNHCR sources, more than 1, 500 people boarded boats in northern Rakhine state over the courser of four days last week. There have also been reports of passengers drowning off the coast of Rakhine state last weekend. UNHCR has been unable to verify the conflicting information so far and we are seeking details from the authorities at present." (23")

UNHCR points out that more than a year after the first wave of inter-communal violence erupted in Rakhine state, about 140,000 people remain internally displaced.

It says Muslim communities in the state, especially the Rohingya, struggle with limitations on freedom of movement, access to basic services and livelihood, protection from extortion and forced labour, and are sometimes driven to desperation.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’20″

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
Loading the player ...

CONNECT

    There wan a general error : Error refreshing the OAuth2 token, message: ' Error 502 (Server Error)!!1

    502. That's an error.

    The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.

    Please try again in 30 seconds. That's all we know. '

  1. UN Radio News 17 September 2014
  2. Decisive action needed to tackle mass displacements due to disasters
  3. Natural disasters displace more people than conflicts
  4. "Runaway urban growth" should be at top of world's priorities: UN
  5. "Stage set" for post-2015 agenda says outgoing General Assembly President

 

September 2014
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930