ASEAN stood on the sidelines as thousands of refugees were stranded at sea, but it should apply its policy of constructive engagement to ending the persecution that drives Rohingya people out of Myanmar.
A summit in Bangkok is discussing the fate of thousands of people who were stranded at sea. Australia is represented but refuses to resettle any refugees, casting doubt on its commitment to a regional solution.
The political rhetoric would suggest that asylum seekers are deserving and economic migrants are undeserving. Yet their motivations overlap and are complex – forced migrants do not fit easily into one category.