BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Protests over Filipino migrant deaths
Filipino protesters burn photos of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Protesters burned photos of the Malaysian leader
There have been protests in the Philippines against neighbouring Malaysia's crackdown on illegal workers after 13 Filipino children were reported to have died during the deportations.

About 50 demonstrators gathered outside the Malaysian embassy in Manila and criticised the punitive labour policy, which allows for the caning and jailing of illegal workers.

A Filipino woman cuddles her crying child as their passenger ferry ship docks in Zamboanga, southern Philippines, from Malaysia
Migrants leaving Malaysia are crammed into ferries
The Philippines foreign ministry has confirmed that three infants died either in Malaysia or during the journey back to the Philippines over the past week.

The ministry is checking the other reported deaths, made by social work officials.

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo, who is said to be extremely concerned over the migrants' conditions, has flown to the Tawi Tawi islands near Malaysia, to meet the latest batch of fleeing immigrants.

A navy ship was due to arrive in the port with nearly 1,500 Filipino migrants on Thursday, following about 64,000 Filipinos who have left Malaysia in the past month.

Regional row

Malaysia is seeking to cool the growing row with its neighbours over its new policy, which came into effect at the end of July.

The journey made by returning Filipino migrants

But the anger was fanned by news on Wednesday that at least 17 Indonesians had died while stranded in a refugee camp in Borneo, having fled Malaysia.

The Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, has asked the immigration department and the police to draw up a report on the deaths.

Deaths in holding camps

The Indonesian Red Cross has told BBC News Online that 17,000 illegal workers are holed up in the port town of Nunukan in East Kalimantan province, which borders Malaysia's Sabah province.

Conditions there are said to be overcrowded and unsanitary and some of those who died had suffered from dysentery and fever.

Malaysia's new law stipulates that foreign workers without relevant permits, and anyone who employs or harbours them, can be fined up to 10,000 ringgit ($2,600), imprisoned for five years and given up to six strokes of the cane.

But government officials say only half the country's estimated 600,000 illegal immigrants, mainly Indonesians, have left the country so far.

See also:

27 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
10 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
07 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
01 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
20 Jun 02 | Asia-Pacific
04 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
13 Dec 01 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes