(1-15 May 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 email@example.com.
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The Refugee Council of Australia published a report entitled, ‘The Federal Budget: What it means for refugees and people seeking humanitarian protection’, highlighting the budget that the Australian government has had for immigration detention facilities, settlement support services, and to address the backlog of cases within the Migration and Refugee Division (MRD) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
5 May: Fortify Rights published a news release highlighting the need for the Bangladesh government to remove barbed-wire fencing confining Rohingya refugees to camps and to support those affected by suspicious fires that destroyed shelters and killed at least 14 refugees in Cox’s Bazar District since January 2021.
The Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR) published their news release regarding the refugee conditions in India in the current wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and called for quick action to protect and save the lives of refugees and asylum seekers from the second wave.
5 May: ALTSEAN-Burma, Amnesty International, Burma Campaign UK, Chin Human Rights Organisation, FORUM-ASIA, Fortify Rights, Progressive Voice, and the Arakan Project were among the civil society organisations that partook in a global civil society statement on Myanmar. The statement called on the United Nations Security Council to urgently impose a comprehensive global arms embargo on Myanmar to help prevent further violations of human rights against peaceful protesters and others opposing military rule.
12 May: Fortify Rights published a news release calling on the government of Thailand to protect refugees from Myanmar from being forcibly returned and establish protection mechanisms in line with international human rights law.
Regional and Global
- The Mixed Migration Centre of the Danish Refugee Council is hosting a webinar on ‘The experience of refugees and migrants in host countries in Southeast Asia’ on 27 May. The webinar will present findings from MMC’s research in Malaysia and Indonesia, followed by discussions by civil society actors and refugees in the two countries. Click here to register for the webinar.
- Oxford University is offering scholarships for refugees for their summer course on forced migration. The course, which will take place online, offers an intensive, interdisciplinary and participative approach to the study of forced migration. The course also takes an active learning approach, requiring participants to prepare for and then engage in the School’s activities. Applications close on 28 May. Please visit this link for more information.
- Advocates for Refugees is running a project called ‘Voice’ to explore the idea of what it is like to live with uncertainty. Themed ‘Unknown’, the project invites people to share their stories and to define what the unknown means in a short write-up, photo essay, or video. Submit your story here by 30 May.
- Funding opportunity: The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) is offering funding to support civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Indo-Pacific to carry out short-term, high-impact activities to protect civic space and resist restrictive governmental responses to COVID-19.
The funding ceiling is $25,000 and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until 30 June. The activity funded by each grant must be completed by 30 September 2021. For more information, please head over here.
From the Secretariat
APRRN is hosting and coordinating the 8th Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights – in short APCRR8 – virtually from 14 to 18 June. APCRR is a biennial meeting, and in fact, APRRN was founded as a result of the 1st Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights in Kuala Lumpur in 2008. Since then, APCRR has been held in Bangkok (2009, 2010, 2014 and 2016) and in Seoul (2012). In 2016, APCRR6 was attended by over 140 participants from across the region working on refugee issues. However, due to the travel and border restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, APCRR8 will be conducted virtually this year.
APRRN is looking for a suitable candidate to fill the position of Secretary-General who is passionate about advancing the rights of refugees and other people in need of protection, who will use her or his skills and knowledge to help us achieve our network’s goals and support the collaborative efforts of our diverse membership. Interested applicants must have an understanding of organisational change and capacity building processes, skills and experience in the leadership of an organisation, a minimum of three years work experience in promoting and protecting the human rights of forced migrants, and a relevant tertiary degree would be ideal. For more information and to apply, please go here.