Rohingya migrant boat lands in Indonesia

Rohingya Muslim people as seen inside a room at Kuala Idi Rayeuk port after arriving on a wooden boat in Aceh Timur, Indonesia, on Dec. 4, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 04 December 2018
0

Rohingya migrant boat lands in Indonesia

  • Indonesia tends to accept asylum seekers but they are usually barred from working

IDI RAYEUK, INDONESIA: A boat carrying 20 Rohingya men landed in Indonesia Tuesday, authorities said, the latest group of the vulnerable Myanmar minority to reach the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation.
They arrived in Indonesia's western Aceh province on Sumatra island in a rickety wooden boat, according to a local official.
Most of the men ranged in age from 14 to 28, with one of them aged 50.
"They are Rohingya from Myanmar. We asked them where they were heading and they said they were going to Malaysia," said Idi Rayeuk district navy commander Razali, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
"Maybe it's because of the currents that they've landed here instead."
The group were all in good condition and authorities are trying to find them a shelter, Razali added.
In recent weeks authorities in both Myanmar and Bangladesh, where around a million of the Muslim refugees are living in camps, have stopped boats filled with fleeing Rohingya migrants headed mainly for Malaysia.
It has been rare for Rohingya to attempt the sea routes south since Thai authorities clamped down on regional trafficking networks in 2015, sparking a crisis across Southeast Asia as large numbers were abandoned at sea.
That year, hundreds of Rohingya came ashore in Aceh, where they were welcomed in the staunchly conservative Islamic province.
But there have been concerns the desperate community might start taking to the high seas again after mainly Buddhist Myanmar launched a new military crackdown last year that forced about 700,000 members of the Muslim minority to flee to Bangladesh.
In April, about 80 Rohingya in a wooden boat landed in Aceh, just weeks after dozens more arrived in neighbouring Malaysia.
Indonesia tends to accept asylum seekers but they are usually barred from working and often spend years in immigration centres.


One third of UN workers say sexually harassed in past two years

Updated 16 January 2019
0

One third of UN workers say sexually harassed in past two years

  • The online survey was completed by 30,364 people from the United Nations and its agencies
  • More than half of those experienced sexual harassment said it happened in an office environment

UNITED NATIONS: One third of UN staff and contractors experienced sexual harassment in the past two years, according to a report released by the United Nations on Tuesday.
The online survey, carried out by Deloitte in November, was completed by 30,364 people from the United Nations and its agencies — just 17 percent of those eligible. In a letter to staff, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the response rate as “moderately low.”
“This tells me two things: first — that we still have a long way to go before we are able to fully and openly discuss sexual harassment; and second — that there may also be an ongoing sense of mistrust, perceptions of inaction and lack of accountability,” he wrote.
The survey comes amid the wider “Me Too” movement around the world against sexual harassment and assault.
According to the report, 21.7 percent of respondents said they were subjected to sexual stories or offensive jokes, 14.2 percent received offensive remarks about their appearance, body or sexual activities and 13 percent were targeted by unwelcome attempts to draw them into a discussion on sexual matters.
Some 10.9 percent said they were subjected to gestures or use of body language of a sexual nature, which embarrassed or offended them, and 10.1 percent were touched in way that made them feel uncomfortable.
More than half of those experienced sexual harassment said it happened in an office environment, while 17.1 percent said it happened at a work-related social event. Two out of three harassers were male, according to the survey.
Only one in three people said they took action after experiencing sexual harassment.
Guterres said the report contained “some sobering statistics and evidence of what needs to change to make a harassment-free workplace real for all of us.”
“As an organization founded on equality, dignity and human rights, we must lead by example and set the standard,” he said.
The United Nations has tried to increase transparency and strengthen how it deals with such accusations over the past few years after a string of sexual exploitation and abuse accusations against UN peacekeepers in Africa.
The head of the UN agency for HIV and AIDS is also stepping down in June, six months before his term ends, after an independent panel said that his “defective leadership” tolerated “a culture of harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse of power.”