Myanmar Rohingya cleansing_00024028
Myanmar's minorities fight for survival
04:48 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority living in Myanmar's Rakhine state

Thousands have been forced to flee the region amid persecution from Buddhist majority

They are driven to refugee camps where conditions are extremely poor

U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue during his recent visit to Myanmar

Sittwe, Myanmar CNN  — 

It’s been three years since I reported on the plight of the Rohingya Muslim people of western Myanmar and neighboring Bangladesh.

We called our documentary “A Forgotten People,” and it looked at appalling incidents where boatloads of refugees fleeing poverty and persecution arrived in Thailand only to be towed back out to sea and abandoned by the Thai security forces. Hundreds died or went missing.

WATCH: The Forgotten People: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Since then, the Rohingya have remained off the political agenda in western countries.

But now that’s changing. U.S. President Barack Obama addressed their plight during his recent visit to Yangon. The lukewarm response he got in the auditorium was nothing to the vitriol he got online. Even mentioning the name Rohingya is controversial for some in Myanmar.

READ: Obama lauds Suu Kyi, praises Myanmar

We have come to Rahkine to report on the latest threat to the Rohingya. What we have found is shocking. The Rohingyas are among the most persecuted people on the planet. In both Myanmar and Bangladesh – where they have a deep-rooted heritage dating back to when it was known as East Bengal – they are not officially citizens and are denied passports, access to health-care, education and decent jobs.