Sabah, Malaysia Stand Off

March 2013 recorded the destructive armed encounter between the Royal Army of Sulu and the Malaysia Security Forces over Sabah territorial dispute. More than a hundred died including state actors and civilians because of the incident while around 19,000 Filipinos residing in Sabah fled to island provinces in Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao for refuge. The cluster through the humanitarian emergency response team of the region responded to the crisis by providing immediate life-saving support to displaced population who are mostly migrant workers in Sabah. Also, the cluster assisted the government in documenting and monitoring the movement of Filipinos from Sabah. The tension dragged on for more than a week before it ended but its societal consequence lingers until today. Accounts of Filipino deportees coming from Sabah indicated that a series of intensified crackdown continued after the standoff more so the discrimination of Filipinos with or without legal documentation. UNHCR in particular has continued to monitor these persons of concern. As of June 2015, it is estimated that 105,000 Filipinos forcibly returned from Sabah since 2005.