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 series 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.