Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Bangladesh has been invited to join a regional meeting on human trafficking and people smuggling issues which is scheduled to begin in Thailand on May 29.
The meeting was called in the backdrop of the recent reports that thousands of people from Bangladesh and Myanmar are stranded on smugglers’ boats between the Andaman Sea and the Straits of Malacca.
The special meeting will discuss the speedy increasing exodus of migrants through the Bay of Bengal and the people drifting in boats without food and drinking water in Malacca Strait and the coasts of the South East Asian countries.
High officials from 15 countries including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, hosts Thailand, Australia and the United States will attend the meeting in Bangkok on May 29 to deal with human trafficking crisis, said a statement of the Thai foreign ministry.
“The special meeting is an urgent call for the region to work together to address the unprecedented increase of irregular migration,” the ministry statement added.
In this situation, the UNHCR has urged the government of the Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand to keep their borders open so that the search-and-rescue operations of thousands of Bangladeshi and Rohingyas who are drifting in region’s waters could be stepped up.
The Human Rights Watch also urged the countries not to push back the boats crammed with migrants who are without supplies.
The US also terming Southeast Asia’s Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants dilemma an emergency issue to address with appropriate speed, the US has urges the government in the region to refrain from pushbacks of new boat arrivals.
“We remain deeply concerned about the urgent situation faced by thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants at sea in Southeast Asia,” said Jeff Rathke, director of Press Office in the US Department of States on May 15.