Malaysia’s Refugees Are Not People in Transit


Rohingya children. It’s difficult to tell apart a refugee and an asylum-seeker from an undocumented migrant or even a trafficked person; we are inclined to lump them all in a single class – as unwelcome outsiders. Public discussion and information about refugees lack cohesive understanding, and this fuels unwarranted racism and xenophobia, says James Lochhead of the Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign (PSHTC), which works holistically to tackle situations of vulnerability, exploitation and lack of protection within refugee communities; as well as issues of human trafficking and modern-day slavery in Penang, Malaysia and across the region.1 Understanding Migration Terms “A refugee is someone who ...

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