Malaysia should sign Refugee Convention


IF Malaysia is serious about helping the Rohingya who have been refugees and asylum seekers in our country for many years, the Government must consider signing the convention on refugees along with its protocol relating to refugees.

Thousands of Rohingya have fled their home country over the past few years to seek refuge in neighbouring countries including Malaysia. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were some 149,100 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Malaysia as of June 30 this year. Of these, some 132,100 are from Myanmar, comprising 61,000 Rohingya, 38,200 Chin, 9,900 Myanmar Muslims, 4,200 Rakhine and Arakanese, and other ethnic groups. The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention, is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines a refugee and sets out the right of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. The Convention also sets out which people do not qualify as refugees, such as war criminals.

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