Target: President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino
Goal: Applaud efforts to take in Rohingya refugees rejected by other nations.
The Philippines released a statement that it was ready and willing to take in 3,000 of the refugees fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh. Around 25,000 Rohingya Muslims got on boats earlier this year, desperate to flee their country before leaving would be impossible. An estimated 300 have died since January.
The Rohingya are some of the most persecuted people in the world. They have been denied citizenship by the Myanmar government, denied legal recognition as an ethnic group, and been victims of discrimination and physical attacks by anti-Muslim Rakhine and their central government. In 2012, about 150,000 of the 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims were placed into refugee camps as part of an ethnic cleansing attempt by the Rakhine nationalists.
The Philippines accepting the refugees is a key move for the safety of the refugees. A boat carrying 300 refugees was recently escorted out of the waters of Malaysia and Thailand. When governments refuse to accept refugees, the refugee boats are often left on the open water in desperate conditions. The Philippines’ acceptance of refugees will give 3,000 of them a place to stay and be safe.
The Philippines is taking a stand to assist displaced people. Government officials have said that it is their “duty to welcome these people.” The acceptance by the Philippines government gives hope that neighboring nations will follow their lead and accept refugees. Please support this move by the Philippine government by signing below and hopefully encourage more support for displaced people.
Dear President Aquino,
Around 25,000 Rohingyas got on boats this year to flee their country. The conditions in their country were dire and it was necessary for their safety. The conditions on the water are often desperate and leave the people vulnerable to death and disease.
Some of these refugees were recently denied entrance in neighboring countries. The Philippines declaring that they would take in 3,000 refugees is not only commendable, but a also a source of hope. Now 3,000 of these refugees will find a safe place to seek shelter, and this will hopefully encourage surrounding nations to follow in your footsteps.
Thank you for your efforts in protecting the some of the most vulnerable members of this world. I commend your decision and encourage you to continue to use your resources to protect these refugees.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Phil Eggman