Chapter 13: Stuck in camps, at sea and in illegality: dimensions of stuckedness endured by Rohingya refugees
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This chapter sheds light onto the recent maritime journeys of Rohingya people, an ethnic-religious minority devoid of citizenship rights in their homeland Myanmar. Given that there are no effective durable solutions for the Rohingya there, thousands have sought to migrate onwards to other countries. Two of the most sought-after destination countries in Southeast Asia are Malaysia and Indonesia. While both have been hosting thousands of Rohingya for years, the previous hospitality to accommodate more Rohingya is on the decline and hostilities have accelerated during the global Covid-19 pandemic. In several instances, Malaysia has refused the embarkation of Rohingyas and pushed back their boats into the sea, which has resulted in death, prolonged stuckedness at sea and forced return. On a few occasions, Indonesia has tolerated the rescue and disembarkation of Rohingya by civilians, however, the rescuers now face legal prosecution under the people smuggling legislation. This chapter seeks to offer an overview of the developments and consequences of being stuck at sea. While stasis and immobility on land has received substantial academic attention, the specific circumstances of being kept at sea - which result from pushbacks, abandonment of search and rescue operations and left-to-die politics - require more scholarly attention, as they depict a further corrosion of the global regime meant to guarantee basic human rights to forcibly displaced and stateless people.

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