ADSP Briefing Note: Regional Solutions for Rohingya Refugees – October 2023

ADSP Briefing Note: Regional Solutions for Rohingya Refugees – October 2023

Regional implications of the Rohingya humanitarian crisis

The Rohingya, the world’s largest stateless population, have experienced decades of persecution, systematic discrimination, and targeted violence by successive Myanmar authorities. This humanitarian crisis has resulted in the mass displacement of over 1.6 million Rohingya throughout the wider Asia region, including 952,300 in Bangladesh, 106,100 in Malaysia, 21,600 in India, and smaller groups in Indonesia and Thailand. There are 600,000 Rohingya who remain in Rakhine state in Myanmar, of which an estimated 140,000 live in camps. The protracted displacement of the Rohingya has a significant transnational dimension, as policy responses by host governments directly affect one another, and differing policy approaches have unintended consequences for other states.

International refugee policies and institutions, however, have not been effectively utilised to respond to the Rohingya crisis in the Asia region, as the combination of conflicting and diverging priorities among regional host governments, domestic political constraints, and insufficient political will have rendered sustained coordination and collective action elusive. As a result, responses to the Rohingya have been ad hoc and inconsistent, with negative consequences for regional stability and poor protection outcomes for Rohingya refugee populations.

This briefing note spotlights the regional implications of the Rohingya humanitarian crisis and analyses how meaningful regional action in response to protracted Rohingya displacement can be mobilised to increase access to durable solutions.

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