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Libyan coastguard boat carrying illegal migrants on May 3
Libyan coastguard boat carrying illegal migrants on May 3
Patrick Randall

PARIS — Up to 8,000 Rohingya, a long-persecuted Burmese minority, are still reportedly stranded on rickety boats in deplorable and perilous conditions, weeks after being abandoned by human traffickers in the Andaman Sea.

Denied safe passage on the shores of countries in the region, the plight of this Muslim ethnic group is however just one of the planet's many humanitarian disasters swirling around the issue of migration right now.

Refugees and would-be immigrants fleeing violence and poverty are making headlines on every continent. It's a world map of human misery that political leaders appear ill-equipped to resolve: 4 million Syrians who fled to neighboring countries; 550,000 South Sudanese taking refuge in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda or Sudan; a rising death toll in dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean by people escaping conflict in the Middle East and Africa; a human trafficking route that extends from Central America through Mexico to the United States.

Here's a glance at some of the flashpoints, and the coverage in the global media.

Rohingya rejected

  • Often described as “one of the world’s most persecuted minorities,” the Rohingya are effectively a stateless Muslim ethnic group repeatedly forced to flee persecution from Burmese Buddhists.
  • Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have turned away the refugee boats, though the Philippines now appears ready to welcome at least some Rohingya.
  • A regional meeting on the crisis has been set for May 29 in Bangkok, though observers note the situation remains extremely urgent.

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Source: The Bangkok Post, May 18, 2015

The ongoing disaster in the Southeast Asian Andaman Sea remains confused, in part because Bangladeshi migrants escaping poverty are also believed to be among the boat people, The Jakarta Post reports. This has led to violent clashes onboard between both communities, as conditions worsened. Survivors who reached Indonesia’s northern Aceh province described real “massacres” and “horrific scenes” involving “knives, machetes and iron bars,” the AFP reports. Witnesses say at least 100 people were killed and that “those who wanted to survive had to jump into the sea.”

Thai Deputy Secretary General for Security Issues Panitan Wattanayagorn said “it was up to the U.S. to take “real action” to address the problem,” the Bangkok Post reports.

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Society

Urban Indigenous: How Peru's Shipibo-Conibo Keep Amazon Culture Alive In The City

For four years, indigenous photographer David Díaz Gonzales has documented the lives and movements of his Shipibo-Conibo community, as many of them migrated from their native Peruvian Amazon to the city. A work of remembrance and resistance.

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Rosa Chávez Yacila

YARINACOCHA — It was decades ago when the Shipibo-Conibo left their settlements along the banks of the Ucayali River, in eastern Peru, to begin a great migration to the cities. Still among the largest Amazonian communities in Peru — 32,964 according to the Ministry of Culture — though most Shipibo-Conibo now live in the urban district of Yarinacocha.

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