Archive for February 24th, 2016


Bay of Bengal ‘Three Times More Deadly’ than Mediterranean for Migrants and Refugees

Human Wrongs Watch

23 February 2016 – Refugees and migrants crossing the seas of Southeast Asia died at a rate three times higher than those in the Mediterranean last year, a new United Nations report has found, highlighting the urgency of greater life-saving cooperation among the affected States.

Fishing boats head out into the Bay of Bengal. UNHCR fears thousands could be stranded on smugglers’ boats between the Andaman Sea and the Straits of Malacca and in need of rescue. Photo: UNHCR/S. H. Omi

The report, Mixed Maritime Movements in South-East Asia, from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), states that those movements had been “three times more deadly” than in the Mediterranean last year, due largely to mistreatment by smugglers and disease on the boats.

Refugees and migrants often employ the same routes, modes of transport, and networks, and their movements are commonly referred to as “mixed movements.”

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The Turkmen Loophole

YAYLADAGI, 22 February 2016 – While tens of thousands of Syrians are stranded on the border with Turkey after fleeing Aleppo and are unable to cross, a smaller group in the western province of Latakia has found a way to escape the war.

Photo: IRIN | Syrian Turkmen and Arabs escape from Latakia


More than 7,000 people have crossed into the Turkish town of Yayladagi since the start of the month, many – but not all – ethnic Turkmen.

But the conflict is far from over for the new residents of this small town, which has more than doubled its pre-war population of 6,800. Bomb blasts echo in the streets, and refugees are filling up the white tents on the edge of the town.

A statue of Kemal Ataturk adorns a roundabout and shops now advertise in both Turkish and Arabic.

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