Tahmima Anam (This migrant crisis will change our world, 20 May) is right. The root causes of the Rohingya boat people’s crisis must be addressed with greater breadth and urgency. It is welcome news that Indonesia and Malaysia have finally agreed to allow thousands of desperate Rohingya refugees stranded in boats at sea to land. The danger now, however, is that international attention will move on, and the root causes of the crisis will continue to be neglected.
Among the most important of those causes is the Burmese government’s deliberate, merciless policy of using a combination of brutal repression and abject poverty to drive the long-established Rohingya minority out of Burma. As part of that, their inhumane restrictions on international aid efforts by NGOs mean that camps in Burma sheltering 140,000 Rohingya who fled attacks in 2012 have been described by UN officials as having the worst conditions in the world. It is time UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon personally took the lead in negotiating free humanitarian access to these desperate people. The British and other EU governments should give him their full support in such a diplomatic effort, not least in mobilising pressure to secure change in the policies of the Burmese regime. Without that, the appalling misery and loss of life which has at last generated world interest will continue and worsen.
Labour, House of Lords
I believe the approach from Europe needs to be for us to shoulder the IMF debt some countries carry
The so-called international community need to go to the core of why people risk all in their attempts to get into Europe
Membership Event: Guardian Newsroom: Migration in crisis