Thousands are desperately stranded at sea in southeast Asia—and governments are planning a conference to talk it over


The plight of thousands of migrants stranded at sea is growing worse by the day, and none of the southeast Asian countries caught up in the crisis seem willing to help. An estimated 6,000 people—mostly from Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya minority, along with some economic migrants from Bangladesh—are trapped on boats adrift in the Andaman Sea and Straits of Malacca, abandoned by the crew with very little fuel, food, or water.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) told Quartz that there were initially some 8,000 migrants at sea when the crisis began earlier this month, and roughly 2,000 people have made landfall, mostly in Indonesia. The governments of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia have said that they will not allow people to enter the country illegally, and in some cases have forced boats to turn…

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