Session 1: The Rohingya refugee crisis: Reflections from the region
05:00-06:30 CET / 15:00-16:30 AEDT
This panel brings together a range of experts to reflect upon key aspects of the Rohingya refugee crisis and discuss paths forward from this seemingly intractable problem. The Andaman Sea crisis of 2015 saw some 8,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshis stranded at sea in dire humanitarian conditions, and threw into sharp relief the region’s limited capacity to respond in a timely manner to the challenges of maritime migration. Subsequently, in 2017, the mass exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar saw almost 750,000 Rohingya flee into Bangladesh, joining those who had fled in previous years. Thus far, repatriation attempts have failed to meet the minimum acceptable standards, yet remaining indefinitely in Bangladesh is not a solution either. This panel explores some of the key outstanding issues resulting from this crisis, and how progress towards durable solutions might be made.
Session 2: Re-examining displacement in the context of disasters and climate change
This panel problematises and critiques the notion of ‘displacement’ in the context of disasters and climate change. While the threat posed by climate change is real, its manifestations are not as straightforward as we might think. For instance, the idea that rising sea levels will displace millions of people and create ‘climate refugees’ is a popular trope, but it has little evidential grounding. Within the Pacific, multiple and diverse types of mobility, as well as immobility, have been used as coping strategies over centuries. This panel explores how a more nuanced understanding of displacement in the context of disasters and climate change, and its relationship to international protection, can open up possibilities for different kinds of durable solutions.