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Bordering on Denial: State Persecution, Border Controls and the Rohingya Refugee Crisis

  • Michael Grewcock
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)

Abstract

Following the lead of the Australian government, the refusals by the Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian authorities to permit the entry by boat of several thousand Rohingya migrants travelling from Bangladesh and Myanmar in May 2015 generated a Southeast Asian ‘refugee crisis’. While the three states eventually relented, those arriving by boat continued to face indefinite detention, containment in camps or a precarious, stateless existence dependent on illicit smuggling networks. Drawing on Stanley Cohen’s work on bystanders and denial and more recent scholarship on state crime in the region, this chapter examines how the forced migration of the Rohingya has been framed predominantly as a crisis of border policing and migration controls. Further, it is argued that the focus of regional governments and global institutions on increasing private investment and economic development in Myanmar, a state also embraced by a burgeoning network of NGOs as in transition to democracy, serves both to sustain and obscure the systematic persecution and genocide of the Rohingya minority.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Grewcock
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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