The year of 2019 was an incredible year for APRRN and its programmatic goals of advocacy, information sharing, and capacity strengthening. Particularly of note was APRRN’s instrumental intervention and tireless advocacy on several high-profile cases, including Hakeem al-Araibi and Rahaf al-Qunun. With Hakeem’s release from detention and return to Australia and Rahaf al-Qunun finding a new home in Canada, APRRN solidified its status as a network that can collaboratively generate and direct the necessary international attention toward emergency issues and create change in the lives of refugees.
In Thailand, APRRN’s support for and representation in the Coalition for the Rights of Refugees and Stateless Persons (CRSP)culminated in Thailand’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to End Immigration Detention of Children. This was made possible through dialogues and consultations that APRRN and a few other national CSOs initiated with relevant government agencies to support the commitment. Building upon this success, APRRN also collaborated with Fortify Rights, Asylum Access Thailand, and CRSP to co-organise a scorecard workshop on ‘Ending Child Detention’, aimed at utilising the scorecard as a comparative tool to assess and encourage states’ progress towards ending child immigration detention.
Also noteworthy was the Regional Protection Forum in September, co-convened by APRRN’s Regional Protection WG (RPWG) and the Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR). This collaborative forum was also held in partnership with four other APRRN WGs: Women, Gender,and Diversity; Rohingya; Youth; and Refugee Leadership and Participation. The Forum focused on exploring “whole of society” approaches,promoting the inclusion and self-representation of people with lived experience, and complementary in the implementation of the Global Compacts towards the broader objective of fostering productive multi-actor engagement for joint action to strengthen the protection of refugees and other affected people in our region.The Regional Protection Forum is particularly significant for its direct and substantial discussion surrounding the Global Refugee Forum.
In the lead up to the first-ever Global Refugee Forum in December, a key outcome of 2019 was the APNOR-APRRN refugee participation pledge. This work to maximise refugee engagement really began during the drafting of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).
At the same time, APRRN has also been active in advocacy on the effective implementation of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and complementarity with the GCR. In 2019, APRRN was appointed as one of the three civil society co-leads of working groups for the UN Network on Migration. APRRN also actively participated in the first yearly review of the UN Migration Network in Geneva and has been involved in advocacy activities and consultations related to the setting up of the UN Regional Network on Migration in Asia Pacific.
In 2019, APRRN’s network of members expanded to a total of 426 organisational and individual members, who hail from 26 countries. They are the core of APRRN’s strength and without them the achievements that APRRN has acquired throughout 2019 would not be possible with the enduring labour of our members.
The APRRN Secretariat would like to wholeheartedly extend our thanks to all members who have dedicated their time and efforts in strengthening and advocating for refugees and asylum seekers. We eagerly look forward to working with all of our existing and upcoming new members to address those who needs to be heard in the most vulnerable places.
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