Geneva, 21 May 2015 – The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement welcomes the announcement that thousands of migrants who have been stranded at sea will be able to access temporary shelter in Indonesia and Malaysia. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement further reaffirms its commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to the many men, women and children who are in need of help.
Around the world, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement responds to the humanitarian needs of vulnerable migrants guided resolutely and at all times by the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.
Currently, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Asia (Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, Palang Merah Indonesia, Myanmar Red Cross Society, Malaysian Red Crescent and Thai Red Cross) are providing humanitarian assistance to affected people with the provision of relief items and by helping separated family members regain contact with their loved ones. This aid will be scaled-up according to the needs identified and in close coordination with humanitarian partners and local authorities.
Protecting vulnerable migrants is a collective responsibility. The humanitarian challenges of migration impact across borders, regions and cultures. As a result, authorities in countries of origin, transit and destination have a duty to respect human dignity and to avoid any action that puts the lives of these people at risk.
The recent situation on the Andaman Sea is not a new phenomenon. Tens of thousands of people have taken this journey in recent years. A resolution to the issue will require wider regional collaboration in both the immediate and longer-term. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is committed to saving lives, and protecting and assisting the most vulnerable.
For further information, please contact:
Katherine Roux, IFRC communications, Email: Katherine.email@example.com, Mob +66 81 376 5107
In Kuala Lumpur:
Patrick Fuller, IFRC communications, Email: Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org, Mob +60 12 230 8451
Benoit Carpentier, IFRC communications, Email: Benoit.email@example.com, Mob +41 (0)79 213 24 13
Francis Markus, ICRC communications, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mob +41 (0) 79 244 6424