• 04/19/2011
    Malaysia has taken significant steps forward in improving refugee rights. In the past year, there have been no reported attempts to deport Burmese refugees to the border with Thailand and a decrease in immigration raids and arrests of registered refugees. But these advances have not yet been codified into written government policy, leaving refugees considered “illegal migrants” and subject to arrest and detention. The Government of Malaysia should build on this progress by setting up a system of residence and work permits for refugees. The international community should mobilize additional funds for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and non-governmental agencies to leverage this opportunity to improve refugee rights.
  • 12/18/2008
    Among Burma’s ethnic minorities, the Rohingya, a stateless population, stand out for their particularly harsh treatment by Burmese authorities and their invisibility as a persecuted minority.  Despite decades of severe repression, there has been minimal international response to the needs of this extremely vulnerable population compared to other Burmese refugees.
  • 06/13/2007

    Decades of irregular migration to Sabah in eastern Malaysia have resulted in large numbers of undocumented children of migrants from the Philippines and Indonesia who are potentially at risk of statelessness.  Undocumented migrants in Malaysia are targets for arrest and deportation, which in some cases has left their children alone on the street.

  • 05/23/2007

    Burmese refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia are facing increasing threats to their security. Starting in March 2005, the Government of Malaysia launched a nationwide operation targeting undocumented migrants in the country. This operation has led to serious human rights violations against Burmese in Malaysia, who the government classifies as illegal migrants rather than refugees or asylum seekers.