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Five years ago, as many as 8,000 Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi migrants were left stranded at sea after people smugglers abandoned their boats and neighbouring countries refused to allow them to come ashore. As the world comes to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, crowded boats in the Bay of Bengal are once more forcing the region to confront the plight of Rohingya refugees seeking safety by sea. 

At this critical moment, the Kaldor Centre begins a special series 'The Andaman Sea Crisis: 5 years on', aiming to inform regional discussions about protection. With analysis from a diverse range of perspectives, this series will include a mix of shorter opinion pieces and longer research-based articles, from refugees, academics, human rights organisations and others at the forefront of forming regional policy in this area. We aim to consider how far the region has come in the past five-years, encourage critical discourse about the steps yet to be taken, and showcase the work of scholars in the region, including people with lived experience of statelessness and refugeehood. 

Hear from Series convener and Kaldor Centre Senior Research Fellow, Madeline Gleeson, in this 10 minute introductory podcast:

Listen to the podcast here, or subsribe through itunes 



About the speakers:

Madeline Gleeson is a lawyer and Senior Research Associate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney, where she directs the Offshore Processing and Regional Protection projects. Madeline specialises in international human rights and refugee law, with a focus on the law of State responsibility, extraterritorial human rights obligations, offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island, and refugee protection in the Asia-Pacific region. She has extensive experience working with forcibly displaced people around the world. 

Lauren Martin is an award-winning journalist and the Kaldor Centre’s Communications Officer. She was an editor in Australia at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Global Mail, and in the United States, she was Managing Editor of the [Martha’s] Vineyard Gazette and Washington Editor for Institutional Investor publications. She also worked as Head of Communications at the Sydney Opera House.


If you are interested in contributing to the Kaldor Centre's special series marking the five-year anniversary of the Andaman Sea crisis, either in a standalone piece or response to an existing contribution, please contact Madeline Gleeson @


The Kaldor Centre plays a vital role in developing legal, sustainable and humane solutions for displaced people around the world.