The UN calls the Rohingya one of the world's most persecuted minorities. For decades, the Rohingya suffered from state-sanctioned discrimination in Buddhist-majority Burma. Denied citizenship by national law, they are effectively stateless.
In the past three years, attacks on Rohingya have left hundreds dead and sparked an exodus of an estimated 120,000 people who have boarded human traffickers' boats to flee to other countries. The flight helped fuel a longstanding human smuggling industry in the region.