Biweekly Briefs: 1-15 January 2021

Biweekly Briefs

(1-15 January 2021)

The following is a brief bringing you highlights of advocacy efforts by APRRN, partners, and what’s upcoming. We hope to provide you with regular updates on our network’s activities and developments in the landscapes of refugee protection in the Asia Pacific region. Should you like to contribute information, resources, or updates, kindly contact Michelle at 

For the Mailchimp version, please click here.


A New Year’s message from the Chair of APRRN

Dear APRRN Members,

2020 has been a tough year for many, but it has also shown us that we can rise during times of adversity. We faced many challenges and I want to personally take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for all your hard work this year.

We had to do many things differently, for example, move meetings from face to face to Zoom meetings or Google Hangouts, but it still didn’t stop everyone from doing their best.

I am thankful for all your hard work and I am looking forward to continuing working with everyone closely this year. Here’s hoping we will finally be able to meet face to face, with proper SOPs of course.

Happy New Year,

Arash Bordbar

Happy New Year from the Secretariat

Dear Members, Colleagues, and Friends,

Welcome to the first 2021 Biweekly Brief update of APRRN Advocacy. Here in Bangkok, the Secretariat is looking forward to the new year and tackling the many challenges ahead. We continue to be encouraged by the work of the APRRN membership, and it’s your dedication and effort that continues to give us the energy, inspiration, and drive to ensure APRRN grows the influence, legitimacy, and sound sense of purpose that has been built over the past decade.

We have a lot to look forward to this year, including the 8th Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights (APCRR8), a regional refugee summit, advancement of our pledges made at the Global Refugee Forum, and, of course, the agendas and activities of our working groups. Our partnerships continue to grow, and our reach continues to expand, despite a shrinking civil society space and a pandemic that has frustrated some of the essential core components of refugee protection in the region and around the world.

The challenges ahead may be significant, but APRRN continues to rise to the tests, each bringing new innovations in our approach and focus. We remain indebted to the hard work you are all doing for the progress we have been able to make, and wish you all the best of success in this new year. As always, we are at our best when we are working together.

From all of us at the Secretariat, here is to the prospects before us and the successes we will see!

With warm regards from Bangkok,

Themba Lewis


Membership Breakdown from 2020

In 2020, APRRN welcomed 26 organisations and individuals to our network which brings the total number of our members to 452, up from 426 in 2019. Amongst the 26 members, 19 are organisational members and seven are individual members. Of the 19 organisations, five are based in Australia, two in Bangladesh, two in Thailand, and one each from Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom, and the United States. Among the seven individual members, two are from Australia and the rest are from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.

We look forward to expanding our membership network for the year of 2021 and we are excited to work with each of them to advance the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

Advocacy Updates




  • 6 January: Matthew Smith, the CEO and co-founder of Fortify Rights, co-wrote an article on Time entitled, ‘Why Joe Biden Should Help the Rohingya People of Myanmar’, highlighting the role that president-elect Joe Biden should do regarding the plight of the Rohingya people and to designate the violations against the Rohingya people as an act of genocide – something that the Trump administration failed to do.
  • 12 January: Fortify Rights published a news release on ‘Myanmar: Free Student Activists Arbitrarily Detained for Peaceful Anti-War Protests’ calling on the Myanmar authorities to immediately release and end criminal proceedings against dozens of student activists facing criminal charges for their involvement in peaceful protest activities

South Korea

  • 31 December: APRRN and Dongchoen Foundation released an urgent statement entitled, ‘First Nation in Asia to Legislate an Independent Refugee Law Urged For Responsible Implementation of the 1951 Refugee Convention’, which calls upon the South Korean government to take responsibility in implementing the 1951 Refugee Convention after years of low refugee recognition rates.

Regional and Global

  • 6 January: Carolina Gottardo, the Executive Director of International Detention Coalition and the Chair of the Women, Gender, and Diversity Working Group, co-wrote the ‘The Global Compact for Migration (GCM), International Solidarity and Civil Society Participation: a Stakeholder’s Perspective’ which looks at the international solidarity in the global migration field that stems from the engagement of multi-stakeholder partnerships. Please go here to read the full article. 
  • Boniĝi Monitoring recently released a resource on immigration detention standards. It’s a free, dynamic, and easy way to search and navigate the international detention standards and best practices that apply to immigration detainees. More than 550 key indicators spanning 45 categories describe the treatment and conditions that immigration detainees are entitled to expect in a place of immigration detention. Click here to explore the key relevant indicators and guidelines.

On the radar


  • The Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law is hosting a virtual event on ‘The Rohingya refugee crisis: Reflections from the region’ on 21 January at 11:00 Bangkok time. This panel brings together a range of experts from UNHCR, Women’s Peace NetworkHuman Rights Watch, and the Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration to reflect upon key aspects of the Rohingya refugee crisis and discuss paths forward from this seemingly intractable problem. Click here for more details and registration. 
  • APRRN is looking for an energetic person to fill in the Fundraising and Development Coordinator position. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher and a minimum of 3-5 years of work experience in a development or fundraising role with an NGO. Applications close at 6 p.m Bangkok time on 29 January. Please go here for the full description.
  • If you are a young changemaker in the Asia-Pacific region with an exciting business proposal or an innovative idea to improve the lives of migrants, displaced people, and their host communities among the urban poor, head over here to apply for the Youth Innovation for Human Mobility initiative and receive support in developing your ideas into viable social enterprises. Applications close on 10 February.


  • The Refugee Law Initiative will launch a Refugee Survey Quarterly Special Issue on ‘Why Do We Need New Research on Internal Displacement?’ on 21 January at 10:00 Bangkok time and will be taking place online. Bringing together over 20 original peer-reviewed articles by researchers, practitioners and policy-makers, the new Special Issue contributes to renewed debate on policy challenges and solutions for the protracted crisis of internal displacement that affects tens of millions of people worldwide. Click here for more details.

Asylum Access is now recruiting for a few new positions. The current open positions include (Associate) Director of Institutional Engagement, Associate Director of Operations, and Interim Chief Financial Officer (part-time). These positions will be recruited on a rolling basis and interested candidates are encouraged to apply immediately.

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