By Mike Lander on
While the world is focused on the plight of Syrian refugees and others from African countries seeking asylum in Europe, the situation of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar for safety in Malaysia goes relatively unreported. DPI is fortunate to have a photo essay, School of Rohingya in Malaysia, contributed by photojournalist Samsul Said who is based in Kuala Lumpur.
Ethnic Rohingya Muslims who are living in Malaysia show the UNICEF I. D. card at a clinic in Kuala Lumpur on January 31, 2013. Rohingya refugees are expected to flee to Malaysia due to the difficult life they have experienced since the outbreak of ethnic conflict in the Rakhine region of western Myanmar. Statistics of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia showed 99,970 refugees and asylum seekers registered with the agency of whom 24,880 are Rohingya from Myanmar.
The problem concerning refugees from any location is that in their current status they have become stateless persons. As such, they are not subject to the normal legal codes of welcoming countries. Special provisions must be enacted to accommodate the influx of the newcomers. This can place a heavy burden on nations ill equipped to handle thousands of refugees, and it explains why in some countries refugees are housed in temporary camps.