Three dead as asylum seeker boat founders off Java

December 10, 2013

Indonesian drowning deaths

Rescuers push the disabled boat to shore at Ciawi Beach in West Java Province.
Reuters

At least three people have drowned when a fishing boat carrying 30 asylum seekers heading for Australia capsized off the West Java Province after its engine failed.

Reuters Newsagency says one of those who died was a two-year-old child.

It says the passengers were mostly Iranian and ethnic Rohingya who said they were stranded at sea for nearly three hours off Ciawi Beach before being saved by local authorities and fishermen.

One of survivors, Jamil, said that the group was making its way to Australia.

He said the group bought the boat from locals.

“They give us a boat and they give us a bad engine and the engine failed. They are not sorry for us,” he said in broken Bahasa.

About 400 boats carrying asylum seekers have made their way to Australia over the past year and about 45,000 asylum seekers have arrived since late 2007, when the former Labour government relaxed border policies, eventually tightening them again in the face of a voter backlash.

The issue has been a priority for the new Coalition conservative government. Australia’s Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has acknowledged that there has been a spike in asylum seeker boat arrivals since late November.

Four boats, carrying a total of 162 asylum seekers and six crew, have been intercepted in the past 10 days.

Also last week, 27 asylum seekers arrived undetected on Christmas Island.

Australia’s Indian Ocean territory of Christmas Island is a frequent destination for asylum seekers, who travel by often crowded boats from Indonesia, with the help of people-smugglers.

Reuters

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-10/an-indon-asylum-boat/5145628

2 Comments

Filed under Asylum Seekers in Indonesia, Boat Tragedy

2 responses to “Three dead as asylum seeker boat founders off Java

  1. The article uses the phrase “people-smugglers” but I think it is very critical to be aware of human trafficking issues here. People may start off as compliant to being smuggled but at some point along the chain people smuggling can become a case of human trafficking. BEPIA (www.balidetective.com) has dealt with a few cases were a person has gone missing. It was believed that whilst initially they went of their own free will that they had become human trafficking victims.

    This switch from being smuggled to trafficked can be quite subtle, however a whole new area of support services and expertise is needed for victims of human trafficking. Moreover once someone becomes a victim of human trafficking s/he then falls under different legal process and UN Protocols.

  2. The article uses the phrase “people-smugglers” but I think it is very critical to be aware of human trafficking issues here. People may start off as compliant to being smuggled but at some point along the chain people smuggling can become a case of human trafficking. BEPIA and IPIA (www.indonesiadetective.com, http://www.indonesiadetective.com) have dealt with a few cases were a person has gone missing. It was believed that whilst initially they went of their own free will that they had become human trafficking victims.

    This switch from being smuggled to trafficked can be quite subtle, however a whole new area of support services and expertise is needed for victims of human trafficking. Moreover once someone becomes a victim of human trafficking s/he then falls under different legal process and UN Protocols.

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