The National League for Democracy (NLD) on 1 June released a statement urging an effective crackdown on human trafficking operations concerning the boat people crisis.
Addressing the migrant crisis for the first time, the opposition party stressed that the wellbeing and security of the migrants must be prioritised, and called for thorough verification procedures in determining the nationalities of the boat people.
In its statement, which was signed by the party’s central executive committee, the NLD pointed to communal violence in western Burma’s Arakan State as one of the principal causes currently fuelling human trafficking operations in Southeast Asia.
“Both the National League for Democracy and the party’s chairman have consistently stressed that human rights, democracy and rule of law, and prevention of hate speech and behaviour should be the focus of dealing with the communal crisis in Arakan State,” the statement said.
“There were bouts of serious violence in Arakan State in the past three years causing loss of life and as a result, there is now a human trafficking crisis. But this cannot be handled lightly,” said NLD spokesperson Nyan Win following the release of the statement.
Also included in the announcement was a suggested list of steps to tackle the crisis, including: ensuring rule of law, border security, fighting corruption among government officials in border areas, immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need, resettling of Rohingya in camps, socioeconomic development for local populations and transparent citizenship verification procedures.