Eight thousand people are stranded at sea.
What if I told you that a girl the same as your own son or daughter was stranded in the middle of ocean?
The little girl is hungry. She’d do anything for just a warm bowl of her favourite soup, but there’s no ingredients around to cook it up. Her mum says there’ll be no fresh water left soon.
She’s been there for months, and she’s desperate and sad and scared for her life.
It’s a true story. Except it’s not just one little girl trapped in these desperate circumstances; it’s hundreds of children, plus thousands more men and women, who are members of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya ethnic minority.
Having fled discrimination, violence and hardship in their home countries (Rohingya are only allowed two children, for example, so they have to flee or have an illegal, unsafe abortion if they fall pregnant with a third), they have found no country will take them in.
As a result, thousands of refugees and migrants have been at sea for more than two months off the coasts of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
There are up to 8,000 currently at sea, enduring worsening conditions each day as they float, seemingly endlessly, on the sea they fear will become their watery grave.
Those fears are not unfounded, either: At least 200 people have died on boats already, including at least seven children, according to the ABC.
Some of the refugees were rescued by fishing boats and taken to Indonesia last Thursday. They arrived in shocking physical condition, with 25 of them needing admission to hospital because their bodies had gone into “heavy shock”.
“They were on the sea for four months, no food, no clean food, no bedding, that made the people dehydrated, and caused trauma,” Dr Iqbal, who oversaw their medical care, told the ABC.