When nearly 850 Rohingya boat people were rescued from their secret shelters in Songkhla's Sadao district this week, the government finally did the right thing by providing them with humanitarian care and allowing them to have access to international assistance.
Up until this week, the country's main policy toward Rohingya boat people was to give them food, water, and fuel before putting them back out to sea so they can continue their journey to Malaysia, which is their main destination, or to deport them by land back to Myanmar.
By chasing them away, either by sea or by land, this policy is equivalent to pushing the Rohingya back into the open arms of human traffickers. If they cannot pay up, they risk imprisonment, torture, or even death back in Myanmar.
This article is older than 60 days, which we reserve for our premium members only.You can subscribe to our premium member subscription, here.