Monthly Briefs (April 2022)
We strive to provide you with regular updates on the network’s activities and developments in the refugee protection sphere, alongside the emerging political climate in the Asia Pacific region.
28 April: APRRN joined 24 organisations supporting a statement by Amnesty International, advocating for improved support of community-led learning facilities in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. The statement also expressed the urgent need to strengthen resources in line with the country’s international commitment to protect children’s right to education. Read the full statement here.
5 April: APRRN released an urgent statement condemning the refoulement of a Rohingya refugee woman from India and the escalating risk to other Rohingya refugees in India. The deportation was carried out despite an order of the Manipur State Human Rights Commission staying the deportation, and an ongoing case before the Supreme Court of India. The statement noted with grave concern the arrests of other Rohingya refugees and the more than 200 in detention at imminent risk of refoulement. APRRN called on the Government of India to respect the rule of law and immediately cease arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention, and refoulement.
22 April: A consortium of Japanese NGOs, including APRRN member Forum for Refugees Japan, released a follow-on survey to reveal the challenges and future prospects of Afghan evacuees who fled to Japan after the Taliban takeover of August 2022. The Consortium for the Acceptance of Evacuees from Afghanistan (AFA) survey targeted evacuees from Afghanistan invited by the government and private sector since August 2021 and their guarantors. You can read the summary of the survey results here, as well as the report and recommendations here. On 22 April, AFA held a press conference to explain how the Japanese government responded to the acceptance of evacuees from Afghanistan. You can watch it here.
31 March: The Mixed Migration Centre has been conducting a survey with Rohingya in Malaysia since January 2019 to assess protection risks for women and children. The study, Protection risks for Rohingya women and children: from departure country to arrival in Malaysia has been released in partnership with ADSP and the Geutanyoe Foundation.
21 April: Lilliane Fan (Chair of the Rohingya Working Group) was connected by the APRRN Secretariat to the Malaysian radio station BFM89.9; Ms. Fan was interviewed on refugee policies following the recent development of Rohingya refugees that fled from detention camps in northern Malaysia. Listen to the interview here.
2 May: APRRN released a joint statement with the International Detention Coalition, FORUM-ASIA and the ASEAN Parliamentarian on Human Rights regarding the 500 Rohingya refugees, including 97 women, 294 men, and 137 children, who escaped from a detention centre in Sungai Bakap, Malaysia. Seven of those who fled were killed tragically in a traffic accident, including three young children. Over the following days, at least 467 people were re-detained. APRRN urged the Malaysian government to conduct an immediate, thorough, and independent inquiry into the underlying circumstances and detention conditions which led to such severe levels of human desperation, and prompted an escape attempt by so many.
3 April: The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion also published a new Briefing Paper, exploring the structural factors that drive Rohingya women and girls in Myanmar to take dangerous journeys in search of safety & security, accessible here. This is the 5th paper in the Rohingya Briefing Paper series. See here for the full series.
31 March: APRRN and Asylum Access Malaysia held a webinar on ‘The World Bank's Role in Refugee Policy' at the end of March. Rachel Tan, APRRN’s Programme Officer, and AAM provided participants with a comprehensive overview of the World Bank and their ways of working in the context of refugee policies, as well as practical ways refugee rights advocates and organisations can engage the Bank as civil society members.
31 March: The GP2.0 Global Platform on Internal Displacement partnered with the UN Follow Up Team on the Action Agenda and the Steering Group on Internal Displacement Solutions to convene virtual multi-stakeholder consultations on the UN Secretary-General's Draft Action Agenda on Internal Displacement in each global region. The APRRN Secretariat and network members participated in the Asia Regional Consultation; the meeting was attended by over 30 participants, with interventions from speakers representing both governments and civil society. APRRN, members and representatives of government and civil society expressed overall support for the Action Agenda, and highlighted the importance of themes such as: promoting national ownership of solutions; ensuring credible data; facilitating the exchange of best practices; promoting human rights at the centre of any shift toward durable solutions for IDPs; and to this end, engaging with relevant human rights mechanisms; confirming and clarifying the work relating to State engagement for advancing the commitments in the Action Agenda; and engaging political parties and how they consider the needs of IDPs before and after elections.
1 April: The Asia Displacement Solutions Platform (ADSP) released their newsletter for the first quarter of 2022. The newsletter can be found on their website, here.
4 April: APRRN’s Secretariat and members participated in the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) webinar, ‘Conversation with AICHR representatives: Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand’. APRRN’s Programme Officer Zaw Win raised key concerns regarding the capacity and role of NHRIs in ASEAN to monitor and respond to on immigration detention centre conditions in ASEAN countries with respect to the standards set at domestic and ASEAN level. Zaw Win also questioned how civil society organisations can be supportive in enhancing monitoring capacity of IDC conditions.
29 March: The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion recently launched a joint report with the Global Citizenship Observatory on Instrumentalising Citizenship in the Fight Against Terrorism. It is the first of its kind global analysis of nationality deprivation powers that relate to national security and how these have evolved since 9/11, revealing alarming trends, especially in Europe and the UK. The report can be accessed here.
20 April: Hafsar Tameesuddin (Chair of APRRN) appeared in an Al Jazeera news video discussing the Rohingya refugees that escaped from a detention centre in northern Malaysia. Over 500 refugees fled the detention centre.
On the radar
Development opportunities and tools
The Asia Pacific Network of Refugees is conducting a survey on Refugee capacity building needs in the Asia Pacific Region. Based on this survey APNOR will conduct training for the empowerment of#refugees for a better future. Please head over here to take the survey.
Tool: The Migration & Asylum Project (M.A.P) has successfully launched a first-of-its-kind app for forcibly displaced women/girls in India. 'Talika' is designed for communities with low literacy levels, poor digital capacities, heightened privacy concerns, and language barriers. Through this app, M.A.P aims to facilitate linkages to hyperlocal support structures, mainly, NGOs, paralegal volunteers, government clinics, police stations, legal aid centres etc., and government helplines. The app is available for Android users to download here.
Settlement Services International is currently calling for applicants with a refugee background to join their Refugee Employment Support Programme (RESP). RESP is available to people in western Sydney and the Illawarra who are underemployed or unemployed and require extra support. Any person who has arrived in Australia on a refugee visa from December 1, 2011, aged 16 to 66, is eligible for the programme. For the full description, please go here.
Talent Beyond Borders (TBB) offers an employment connection platform for refugees, in English and Arabic. TBB is a nonprofit organisation committed to opening labour mobility pathways for refugees and other displaced people. TBB does not work on refugee resettlement but rather connects refugees with international employment opportunities so that they may work in countries where they can access full rights and stability. By registering on the platform, refugees are connected to companies in need of their skills. Employers gain valuable talent and displaced people have a chance to rebuild their careers and lives. More information here.
The Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies (CAPRS) recently announced a Call for Applications for the second cohort of their Non-Residential Fellowship programme. This programme provides financial and mentorship support to masters and PhD graduates to convert their existing research into high-impact policy papers / projects. Please find more information and the link to the application here. The deadline is 31 May.
Registration is open for DEMAC (Diaspora Emergency Action and Coordination)’s annual international conference with participation from diasporas, institutional humanitarian actors, relevant researchers, and policy makers to present and discuss current topics on diaspora engagement in humanitarian responses. The objective of the conference is to provide a space for relevant actors to come together and exchange on the latest developments in the sector; connect the community working on and/or in diaspora humanitarianism; and provide a platform to engage and build ties with each other. Please register here before May 9th.
UNHCR released a call for applications for its new Advisory Board of organisations led by people with lived experience of forced displacement. The deadline for applications is 18 May 2022. The application form and further information are accessible here.
Global Affairs Canada have released a call for proposals within their Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) in Pakistan. CFLI is designed to support local, small-scale, high impact projects, providing on average a contribution of 30,000 CAD. Thematic priorities include inclusive governance, human rights, the rule of law; peace and security; gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Proposals and budgets must be submitted electronically on or before 13 May. More information here.
The U.S. Mission to Indonesia is offering funding from the U.S. Embassy Jakarta. Funding priorities include activities that promote U.S.- Indonesia strategic partnership, people to people ties, and shared values, including democratic governance, freedom of speech, tolerance and diversity, the rule of law, and human rights. 30,000 - 100,000 USD is available for a period of maximum 12 months. The deadline is 16 June 2022. More information here.
The U.S. Mission to Thailand is offering funding from the U.S. Embassy Bangkok. Funding priorities include: rule of law, democratic values, and human rights; environment and global health; youth critical thinking skills and promoting civic engagement to counter disinformation and improve media/digital literacy; building digital skills and opportunities for women entrepreneurs; and education. 5,000 - 25,000 USD is available for a period of maximum 12 months. The deadline is 31 July 2022. More information here.
The Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) has released a regional Call for Proposals in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan to promote the socio-economic recovery, participation and leadership of Afghan women and young women in forced displacement. WPHF seeks to fund local organisations and innovative, impact-driven projects implemented by women’s rights organisations and organisations which are women-, youth- and refugee-led. Both institutional and programmatic funding is available, between 2,500 - 200,000 USD. To register interest for local information sessions, send an email to the relevant UN Women Country Office with subject line “Information Session Afghanistan Regional Response” by 8 May 2022. The deadline is 17 June. More information here.
The Open Technology Fund is offering funding within their Internet Freedom Fund. This programme supports projects and people working on open and accessible technology-focused initiatives that promote human rights, Internet freedom, and open societies. The Internet Freedom Fund accepts applications on a rolling basis, meaning there is no set deadline, and is done in a two-stage-process, from concept note to full application. More information here.
If you would like to apply to one of these funds in partnership with APRRN, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. APRRN would be happy to provide support and/or partnership where needed.
Want to see more funding opportunities? Please see here for APRRN’s funding database, which in particular sets out funding opportunities for refugee-led organisations and initiatives, alongside a sign-up sheet to provide support on applications as needed.
From the secretariat
APRRN held the first Steering Committee meeting on 23rd March 2022. As APRRN is coming to the end of its current Strategic Plan, this meeting began the conceptualisation of strategic planning, for the approaching 2023-2025 period. The Steering Committee meeting also discussed APRRN’s current structure and explored the most effective mechanism to deliver positive change for refugee rights. The outcome of this productive discussion was that the Steering Committee are now actively evaluating APRRN’s Working Groups structure. An advisory group from among the Steering Committee has been formed to assess strengths and weaknesses of this system and to present options of what a new structure might look like.
APRRN’s Afghanistan advisors are currently organising APRRN's Side Event on Afghanistan to be held at the UNHCR Annual NGO Consultations in June 2022. The advisors are also coordinating messaging for members attending the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in May 2022 which will review progress on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). The Afghanistan advisors are also collating information on legal pathways out of Afghanistan, practical information on border crossings, passport issue and renewal, mapping mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS), and online or remote employment opportunities open to Afghan refugees. This information is collated on an Afghanistan-specific Facebook page, in both English and Dari.
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