Skip to main content

Rohingya: Refugees

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 2317, tabled on 12 June 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with international partners and his counterparts in South East Asia on (a) resolving the situation of Rohingya migrants and (b) ensuring that search and rescue operations take place in the Andaman Sea.

Answered on

22 June 2015

Following the discovery on 1 May of a mass grave in Thailand containing the bodies of Rohingya, and the ensuing humanitarian crisis at sea in South East Asia, the UK lobbied governments in the region to address the urgent humantarian needs of those stranded at sea. In particular, we urged countries in the region to uphold their obligation of rescue at sea for vessels in distress, and to take a coordinated approach to people trafficking.

On 18 May, I called the Burmese Ambassador to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to press for an immediate humanitarian response and to urge Burma to take part in regional coordination efforts. On 20 May, I met the Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary to stress the need for Bangladesh to work within the region to address people trafficking and irregular migration originating from Bangladesh. Our officials have also discussed the issue with EU partners. Permanent Representatives in New York discussed the crisis in the UN Security Council on 28 May. While the immediate crisis is now receding, we are also pushing for a long term solution to the underlying problems, including the status of the Rohingya and an improvement to the dire socio-economic conditions faced by the Rohingya in Rakhine which is a key driver of their migration.