GENEVA - The UN says there was an “alarming” rise in the number of Rohingya refugees lost at sea fleeing their Myanmar homeland or Bangladesh last year, warning more would die without concerted action.
More than 3,500 Rohingya attempted sea crossings in 2022, representing a huge increase on the year before, when some 700 people made similar journeys, UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, said on Tuesday.
“UNHCR has recorded an alarming rise in the death toll. At least 348 individuals died or went missing at sea in 2022, making it one of the deadliest years since 2014,” spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo told reporters in Geneva. She said that 3,040 Rohingya who attempted to flee by sea disembarked last year, mostly in Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Nearly 45 percent of those who did so were women and children.