Latest developments of the tragic refugee situation in Southeast Asia
The Skuld P&I Club has published an article to provide the latest developments of the the tragic refugee situation in Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean.
There have been several reports that thousands of migrants are stranded at sea due to the push backs of the migrant boats by Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia and there were concerns that the countries would continue to maintain this stance.
However in a meeting held between the foreign ministers of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand on the 20th May it was determined that the countries “will continue to uphold their responsibilities and obligations under international law and in accordance with their respective domestic laws, including the provision of humanitarian assistance to the irregular migrants.“
Malaysia and Indonesia have committed to provide humanitarian assistance to those drifting at sea. The Malaysian Prime Minister has instructed the country’s Coast Guard and Navy to conduct search and rescue of the migrants. Thailand has also made similar statements. The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that the country will no longer push back the migrant boats.
All three countries have called for action to stop the boats setting out at sea and to tackle the human smuggling networks.
So far there have been no reports of international commercial vessels having taken part in any rescue operations in this area. However there is a possibility that a vessel could encounter refugees if it is operating in the Bay of Bengal, the Andaman Sea or passing through the Malacca Strait.
The Club advises that if migrants are embarked, the relevant SAR region authority should be notified immediately and a swift disembarkation of the migrants is advised.
Source:Skuld P&I Club