UN Says Bay of Bengal People Smuggling Doubles in 2015

The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday that an estimated 25,000 Rohingyas and Bangladeshis boarded people-smugglers' boats in the first three months of this year, twice as many in the same period of 2014.
The agency said, "Based on survivor accounts, we estimate that 300 people died at sea in the first quarter of 2015 as a result of starvation, dehydration and abuse by boat crews.”
Many of the migrants are Rohingya Muslims from western Myanmar and from Bangladesh hoping to escape religious and ethnic persecution and work abroad.
The most common smuggling route takes them from Myanmar and Bangladesh to the Ranong area of southern Thailand, followed by a day-long road trip to smugglers' camps toward the border with Malaysia.



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