In the past months, thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants fleeing persecution sought refuge in neighboring countries through the Andaman Sea. According to IOM figures, nearly 3,100 were recently received by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia; yet, 5000 more may still be adrift at sea. The Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) – an organ of the Catholic Bishops Conference in the Philippines, an ICMC member – issued a statement expressing its deep concern for the situation and calling all countries to provide assistance to the migrants.
Jason Bell is a child protection expert working within the framework of the ICMC-UNHCR Resettlement Deployment Scheme. Originally from the United States, Jason has been working with refugees since 2003, in reception facilities in the United States, as well as in Malawi and Kenya. Jason has joined ICMC as a Best Interest Determination Specialist in 2011. He is currently based in the UNHCR sub-office in Shire, Ethiopia.
Representatives from the Malaysian office of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) spoke of community-based protection for urban refugees during a webinar organized by the community-based protection team of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In total, 173 attendees connected to the webinar.