World Bulletin / News Desk
Secretary Catalino Cuy of the Interior and Local Government, who chairs the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC), announced the move after the closing session in Manila on Thursday.
According to Cuy, the mass exodus of the Rohingya from Myanmar to Bangladesh may be categorized as irregular movement and therefore they may benefit from the trust fund.
He said Rohingya may qualify for accessing the trust fund the ASEAN has developed and that it is the Secretariat that must approve if there is an initiative to use the trust fund for irregular movement to help them.
Since 1978, the Rohingya people have been facing military crackdowns which the United Nations and Human Rights Watch have described Myanmar's persecution of the Rohingya as ethnic cleansing.
There were an estimated one million Rohingya living in Myanmar before the 2016 and 2017 crisis, the majority are Muslims while a minority are Hindus.
Described by the UN in 2013 as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, the Rohingya population were denied citizenship under the 1982 Myanmar nationality law.
Despite being able to trace Rohingya history to the 8th century, Myanmar law does not recognize the ethnic minority as one of the eight national races, they are also restricted from freedom of movement, state education and civil service jobs.