PETALING JAYA: Two NGOs have urged the government to ease the pressure on refugees or more members of the community could resort to taking their lives.
Beyond Borders and the Alliance of Chin Refugees cited the case of a Myanmar refugee who took his own life after throwing three of his children from the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) highway yesterday morning.
The man and one of the children possessed a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card. One of the children was being treated in intensive care, while the others died.
The NGOs urged Putrajaya to put an end to immigration raids and to give refugees the right to work in Malaysia, to ease the pressure the community was facing.
They also called for aid packages to include the community and for UNHCR to be given access to immigration detention centres so that refugees there can be registered.
“Refugees have been rounded up in immigration raids and this has created huge fears while severely affecting their freedom of movement. Even having a UNHCR card doesn’t guarantee they won’t get arrested by the police or immigration,” they said in a joint statement.
“The loss of jobs, inability to feed their families or pay rent and the lack of a safe passage to seeking asylum are some of the reasons refugees are forced to commit suicide.
“Not only do they not have the right to work, they are also unable to access affordable healthcare and structured education for their children.”
The NGOs said that under international laws and humanitarian principles, Putrajaya was obligated to guarantee the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers.
They maintained that piecemeal solutions were not the way to address the situation, adding that refugees needed to be given the right to live with dignity.