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ASEAN leaders stumble over humanitarian crises

Luke Hunt
 
Five great refugee floods have blighted Southeast Asia over the last half-century—sparked by conflicts in Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, East Timor (also known as Timor Leste) and Myanmar—in tragedies with far-reaching consequences that should have been averted.
 








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Asian bishops make refugee crisis a priority

DHAKA (UCAN): An international seminar held in Bangladesh, organised by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), focused on migrants, refugees, displaced persons, human trafficking and renewable energy options in Asia.
 
The February 11 to 17 conference drew about 50 participants including Patrick Cardinal D’Rozario of Dhaka, nine archbishops and bishops, 14 priests, nuns and laypeople from 11 Asian countries.
 

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Dare to be in solidarity with migrants bishops say

ROME (CNS/Agencies): “The path to saving our very humanity from vulgarity and barbarism passes through a commitment to safeguarding life. Every life. Beginning with that which is most exposed, humiliated and trampled upon,” the Italian Bishops’ Conference said in a July 19 statement after a woman survivor and two bodies were recovered from the wreck of a migrant boat in the Mediterranean Sea.
 

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Spain welcomes rescue boat rejected by Italy and Malta

ROME (Agencies): Spain announced it would let the SOS Méditerranée ship, Aquarius, holding 629 migrants and refugees rescued from the Mediterranean, dock in Valencia, after Italy and Malta refused to accept the vessel, CNN reported on June 11.
 
Aquarius, had been on standby between Malta and Sicily since June 10, waiting for permission to dock at a nearby port of safety, CNS reported. It had rescued hundreds of people from unsafe rubber boats and also took in another 400 people rescued by Italian vessels.

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Half world refugees are children

ROME (SE): Children account for one half of all refugees in the world today, an appeal from Caritas calling for proper protection to be accorded to them says.

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In Malaysia but belonging nowhere

MANILA (UCAN): Amira’s face lit up with a smile when the word school was mentioned. “Do you want to take them? Do you know where I can send them?” she asked before adding, “no one wants them.”

Her two children, five-year-old Nasir and three-year-old Noori, were sitting with her on top of an orange plastic container by the waterfront in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah state, Malaysia.

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Uganda hosting floods of refugees from South Sudan

KAMPALA (SE): The African nation of Uganda has seen more refugees coming across its borders in the last four months than arrived in the European nation of Greece during the first 10 months of this year.

Its once sparsely populated northern grassland of Bidi Bidi has in a short space of time been transformed into what Caritas Uganda describes of the second largest refugee shelter in the world.

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Jordan sinking under its refugee burden

AMMAN (SE): Jordan is currently hosting over two million refugees, putting the Hashemite Kingdom in first place among hosts of refugees and displaced persons.

Fides reported on October 5 that it is followed by Turkey (2.5 million), Pakistan (1.6 million) and Lebanon (1.5 million).

Amnesty International says that half of the entire global mass of refugees worldwide is hosted by only 10 of the 193 countries that make up the entire list of nations.

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Vatican funds job-creation project for refugees in Jordan

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Vatican is funding a job-creation programme for Iraqi refugees in Jordan, which is hosting close to 1.5 million refugees of whom but is struggling to provide work for them. Around 130,000 come from Iraq and 1.3 million from Syria.

With $1.16 million (US$150,000) donated by visitors to its pavilion at the World’s Fair in Milan in 2015, the Vatican will provide the funding that Caritas Jordan needs to launch the project.

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Cardinal hails u-turn in child refugee policy

MANCHESTER (CNS): Vincent Cardinal Nichols, from Westminster, the United Kingdom (UK), welcomed a U-turn by the British government over the resettlement of child refugees.

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