Monthly Briefs (July 2022)
The following details, highlight APRRN and partners' advocacy efforts over the month, as well as upcoming activities. 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. Should you like to contribute information, resources, or updates, kindly contact Sharon at MSCO@aprrn.org.
15 July: The HuffPost wrote an article calling for an international humanitarian crisis for the Hazara people in dire need of food and shelter. Commencing last month, thousands of Hazara families have become displaced following the Taliban’s military campaign in the country’s Balkahb district. Read more here.
- 1 July: The interpreter published an op-ed titled Why India Needs a Refugee Law critiquing India’s arbitrary treatment of refugees, ranging from their selective asylum policies grounded in geopolitics and religion to the detaining of Rohingya refugees.
- 6th July: For Peace Project, a news and media website for peace and human rights launched a fundraising event titled "Lens of Life: Striving to End Refugees' Vulnerability to Stigmatization and Xenophobia". The virtual art exhibition aimed to raise funds to assist refugees in Indonesia and share knowledge on refugee issues with the public. Read more here.
- 25th July: Beyond Borders and the Alliance of Chin Refugees have criticised the Malaysian government’s decision to enforce the Tracking Refugees Information System (TRIS) for all UNHCR card holders. They claimed the system to be of an invasive nature and dehumanising. They implore the home minister Hamzah Zainudin to consult refugee community leaders and relevant NGOs prior to the implementation of the system. Read more here.
25th July: The Mynamar’s Junta executed four men, including Phyo Zeya Thaw, a rapper and former lawmaker from Aung San Suu Kyi’s party and a prominent democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu known as Jimmy. Accused of conspiring to commit terror acts, they were sentenced to death in January during an enclosed trial. According to the UN, this is Myanmar's first capital punishment in more than three decades. Read more here.
- 27th July: Following the execution of the four democracy activists by Mynamars Junta, the Rohingya Human Rights Initiative (ROHRIngya) published a press release condemning Mynamar Juntas' violation of international human rights. Read more here.
6th July: ALTSEAN Burma has published a paid internship position for Burmese women. Following the conclusion of the internship after 12 months, a full-time job will be offered to the successful applicant depending on team dynamics, performance and funding availability.
7th July: Puttanee Kangkun director of Fortify Rights attended a roundtable discussion hosted by The Nation, where she details her experience working with Mynamar refugees in Thailand. Watch the full discussion here.
12th July: APRRN in collaboration with the Center for Asylum Protection (CAP) has launched an online portal dedicated to the National Screening Mechanism (NSM). The portal - currently being operated by CAP - aims to provide knowledge on NSM to refugees and interested individuals, developing their understanding of the mechanism and expanding their NSM-related advocacy. Read more about the portal here.
- 14th July: Minorities Rights Group has organised a Minority’s Rights Group's Youth Peace Photography Training in Thailand’s Southern Border Provinces. The training was designed by Thai journalists and documentaries, committed to capturing powerful individual vision and work based on true stories about human rights, politics, environmental issues and equality in Thailand and across ASEAN. The photography workshop aims to provide participants with an understanding of the power of photojournalism; how it can be utilised to have an impact on continued violence, guiding peace and understanding. The training is scheduled to take place on dates between mid-August concluding on 22nd September.
9th July: APRRN and Musawi support an initiative of the Asia Alliance against Torture to connect youths across Asia to learn and reflect on human rights. The Asia Classroom (TAC) is a free online human rights course and a virtual class where different individuals between the age of 16-25 across Asia come together to learn about fundamental human rights, youtube led initiatives and developments in the region, including refugee rights. The course includes 12 core classes held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-31 August 2022.
12th July: Refugees International released a report addressing current conditions in Myanmar and exploring barriers and opportunities for the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection to those reachable along the border. Furthermore, they recommended practical actions the government of Thailand, the United States, and international donors can adopt to deliver relief to those who desperately need it. Read more here.
15th July: Migration and Asylum Project (M.A.P) in collaboration with Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) and Equal Asia Foundation (EAF) hosted a roundtable webinar on ‘Localising Solutions to Combat SGBV: Innovative Objectives from South and Southeast Asia’. The webinar brought together practitioners, academics and community representatives to determine best practices that inform community led-movements towards developing an inclusive and effective projection landscape for SGBV survivors from the refugee community.
- 22nd July: Oxfam International launched its third annual Rohingya Arts Campaign. The campaign aims to shed light on the voices and perspectives of the Rohingyas people, which are often absent in mainstream media. Selected artists will have their pieces showcased and promoted on Oxfam websites, social media channels, and public forums such as art exhibition events.
18th July: The Refugee Youth Network (RYN) organised a hybrid education showcase for refugees interested in tertiary education. During the event refugees learned about pathways and options for refugees interested in higher education, current relevant programs and were able to bring their questions to speakers from different universities, colleges and organisations providing scholarship programs, skills training, courses and other educational programs. More information and inquiries can be directed to WhatsApp 0176 715439 or email@example.com.
26th July: APRRN convened a panel entitled Refugee Led Responses in a World of Upheaval as part of the Global Summit on Local Leadership by Local Humanitarian Leadership (LHL). The event was moderated by the Chair of the Women, Gender & Diversity Working Group, Apajok Biar with panellists of leaders with lived experience of forced displacement, including Hafsar Tameesuddin our APRRN Chair. The discussion revolved around systematic changes they would like to see that would allow refugee-led organisations to achieve their greatest impact in a fair system.
26th July: Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (RRLI) announced that 12 new refugee-led organisations (RLOs) will receive a combined total of $1.18 million in funding for the monetary year 2022-2023. The 12 RLOs are based in Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Lebanon and Uganda. RRLI is a coalition of six refugee-led organisations that are unravelling an unprecedented amount of funding for RLOs in an attempt to bridge the gap caused by excluding refugees’ own initiatives from international refugee response funding. Read more here.
- 28th July: Refugees International, the Center for Global Development and Asylum Access, collaboratively published the 2022 Global Refugee Work Rights Report. The report highlights the significant legal and practical barriers refugees face in their host countries, excluding refugees from economic participation, despite their right to work being acknowledged in international agreements. It further includes recommendations to expand access to labour markets, outlining possible measures to host countries and donors to implement.
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. Anyone who 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.
May 2022: Grant Mitchell, former Director of the International Detention Coalition and founding member of APRRN released the Practice Guide for Civil Society: Engaging decision-makers on human rights issues. The guide includes a range of tools, tips, resources, and strategies used to increase access, overcome barriers, and contribute to decision-maker receptivity to consider policy change in line with international human rights. A key focus of the guide is to support emerging civil society leadership and the voice and self-representation of affected communities and activists in their advocacy work.
- APRRN is pleased to announce the call for applications for our Refugee Rights and Advocacy Course 2022! We are excited to be partnering with the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University and the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York for our course again this year. Our course is a combination of practical and learning modules with the aim of developing critical human-rights understanding relevant to forced migration issues and strengthening the capacity of advocates for refugee rights in the Asia Pacific region. Each year our course brings together a range of experts, from experienced practitioners to advocates with lived refugee experience as resource people and mentors. Participants will also have spaces to network, exchange and be connected with a wider community of practice. The course will run from 27 September to 21 October 2022, held on Tuesdays and Fridays. The deadline for applications is 29 July 2022 at 6:00 pm Bangkok time. Please see here for more information, and apply to the course here. Enquiries about the course can be directed to the APRRN Secretariat at PO@aprrn.org.
- The Karibu Foundation is offering 15,000 USD for projects based in the global south within priorities including strategic networking and movement building; capacity building and young leadership; grassroots mobilisation and civil resistance; just peacebuilding and conflict resolution. Karibu typically funds programmes that provide information exchanges, mobilisation efforts, legislative and research efforts, bridge-building, and dialogue. Projects should have a systemic focus and engage more than one country in collaboration. Deadline 15 August and 24 October. 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 FDM@aprrn.org APRRN would be happy to provide support and/or partnership where needed.
APRRN's Afghanistan advisors are collating information on legal pathways out of Afghanistan, practical information on border crossings, passport issues 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.
- In collaboration with Equal Asia Foundation, APRRN is recruiting an individual to develop and produce a documentary film, documenting the experience of LGBTQI+ forcibly displaced persons in Thailand. The aim is to improve state and non-state actors’ empathy, understanding and responsiveness to LGBTQI+ forcibly displaced persons’ protection needs in Thailand and across the Asia Pacific region. Interested candidates are required to apply before the 10th of August 2022 at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating in the subject line “Filmmaker Application”.
APRRN in partnership with Frontline Defenders delivered three digital security workshops across June and July 2022. A total of 12 members attended the workshop, facilitated by frontline Defenders. The webinar-based sessions explored social engineering, digital hygiene, secure browsing and other digital security fundamentals.
- 26th July: Responding to the transfer of 44 Uyghur to a single detention site close to the Bangkok airport, APRRN published an urgent statement urging the Royal Thai government not to deport Uyghur refugees held in arbitrary detention. APRRN urges the Royal Thai government to immediately release these refugees or utilise available resettlement options. Please read the full statement here
As of July 2022, Secretariat is in the process of finalising candidates for the Fundraising and Development Specialist position.
In July 2022 APRRN's new Rohingya Consultant, Caroline Gaal commenced work at the secretariat. Caroline has worked with both Non-Profit and For-Profit organisations in Australia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia for over 15 years. Driven by social impact, Caroline has enjoyed working with International NGOs on large-scale fundraising programmes, to consulting for grassroots NGOs to build and develop their organisational capabilities. Currently living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Caroline has spent the past five years alongside civil society organisations working to advance the rights of refugees, particularly the Rohingya ethnic minority.
Please support our crowd-funding campaign to enable us to channel funding to refugee-led organisations (RLOs) across Asia Pacific. RLOs are experts in providing effective interventions due to their practical understanding of the unique situation refugees are in. In other words, RLOs bridge the gap between absent refugee protection policy and the essential services this population needs. Despite the vital nature of this work, RLOs are often excluded from funding streams due to complex donor requirements and administrative burdens, compounded by a competitive environment. This in turn limits RLOs’ autonomy, leadership and connection to the global community. APRRN is thus raising funds to channel finance directly to RLOs, to ensure these organisations can continue to support, protect and assist the ever-expanding refugee population across the region.
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