In conjunction with World Refugee Day 2015 tomorrow, the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) today urged the government to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees 1951.
This is to facilitate tackling of the increasingly worrying refugee and human rights issues.
Suhakam chairperson Hasmy Agam, in a statement, said that up to May this year, the number of refugees and political asylum seekers in Malaysia had reached 153,004, while the ongoing refugee crisis had also caused the loss of many lives.
He said Suhakam was confident that ratifying the UN convention would be a wise move in tackling the refugee issue.
"As a member of the convention, delivery of international assistance will be better, including repatriation, compared to not being a member of the convention."
Hasmy also said that Malaysia, as the Asean chair, also needed to play a role in obtaining regional and international commitment to respecting international law involving human rights, refugees, humanity, and matters related to a country's territorial waters.
The Malaysia Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) which made the same urging, also described the document (convention) as legal and political legitimacy in caring for the fate of refugees worldwide.
It also urged the government and society to totally reject human trafficking syndicates and the corrupt practices of abetting parties out to reap profits by victimising refugees.
In its statement, Abim said the recent discovery of several graves and transit camps for human trafficking victims in Wang Kelian, Perlis, should create a realisation among Malaysians to be sensitive to the refugee issue.
It also urged Malaysians to assist the refugees already in this country, by registering as volunteers to assist them financially, and in meeting their health needs and providing education for refugee children and women.