Monthly Briefs (November 2022)
The following Monthly Briefs highlight APRRN and partners' advocacy efforts over the month of November and inform about upcoming events and 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 email@example.com.
- 16-18th November: APRRN Chair of the Refugee Leadership and Participation Working Group Najeeba Wazefadost and Sana Ali Mustafa CEO of Asylum Access attended the conference on catalysing meaningful refugee participation as a panellist. Roshni Shanker from the Migration and Asylum Project participated in the discussion on Covid-19’s lasting effects on refugee protection as part of a series of conferences by Kaldor Center for International Refugee Law on new directions in refugee protection.
- 22nd November: The East Asia Working Group (EAWG) held their third quarterly meeting to discuss country updates and emerging issues related to refugee protection in the region. It was decided to create a survey for EAWG members to identify strengths, needs, gaps, and challenges within the working group to support planning for next year. The working group includes CSO members from South Korea and Japan, two key donor countries within the region.
- 25th November: The Legal Aid and Advocacy Working Group was invited to an online event organised by Asylum Access Thailand on the experiences, challenges and risks faced by paralegals in Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. Paralegals from five organisations in these countries, including the Thai organisation Alliance Anti Trafic and IRC shared their experiences.
- Course participants for the APNOR-APRRN Skills Enhancement Training Course have now completed the first module of the program. Over the course of six weeks, participants from RLI/Os have engaged in weekly training and individualised support on the essentials of financial management. Outside of training sessions, participants reviewed or developed internal resources and documentation, such as finance manuals and budgets, and began initial financial planning. From December, participants will begin the second organisational development and management module with more in-depth training, individualised support, and peer-to-peer learning. Participants and facilitators will also delve further into the foundations of good governance. For further information please contact Zerrin Holle, the Project Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- APRRN continues to update information and resources on Afghanistan via APRRN’s webpage, APRRN Information on Afghanistan. This page provides updated information on legal routes, employment opportunities, education, psychosocial services and other support available to those in Afghanistan or abroad. Additional shorter-term job opportunities and migration news for Afghans in transit can be found on APRRN’s corresponding Facebook page. APRRN continues to advocate for increased legal pathways for Afghans with governments. More details to follow next month on the launch of the Afghanistan Legal Pathways Project.
- APRRN posted a vacancy for an Organisational Development Consultant. We are currently in the process of finalising candidates.
- 8th November: Iranian refugee Helia Diba graduated from high school last year, and had to defer 3 university offers to study architecture and business due to her status as a community detainee in Australia. Read more here.
- 10th November: Australia’s acute labour shortages are now the second-worst in the Organisation for Economic Development as unemployment hits a 50-year low. People are questioning why the government is not providing permanent residency to the 31,000 temporary visa holders who have been living in Australia for at least 10 years and have been kept in limbo with Temporary Protection Visas (TPV), Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV) or a Bridging Visa E (BVE). Read more here.
- 16th November: The Rohingya Language Preservation Project launched a report: First They Targeted our Culture and Language, Rohingya-led research conducted by 23 Rohingya refugees living in Coxs’ Bazar and funded by Fortify Rights. The report focuses on how the Rohingya language plays a critical and central role in Rohingya cultural identity and cultural perseveration in Bangladesh and worldwide.
- The National Task Force (NTF) on Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals ( FDMN), Chaired by the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, has agreed to permit skills and capacity-building activities for Rohingya refugees/FDMN’s and affected host community members as well as the provision of education to Rohingya children in the Mynamar curriculum by humanitarian actors. Read more here.
- 10th November: Zo Indegion Forum (ZIF) attended a session in Geneva to discuss the human rights situation in India, hosted by Universal Periodic Review (UPR). ZIF advocated for the ratification of the 1951 and 1967 Refugee Convention, the creation of a national action plan on implementing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights based on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples’ Outcome document and include the Human Rights Impact assessment in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act from 2013.
- 21st November: Amnesty International and six international human rights groups urged the Indian government to promptly adopt and act on the recommendations that United Nations member states made at the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process on 10th November 2022, including the protection of minority communities and vulnerable groups such as the Rohingya.
- 9th November: Ahead of the general election, Human Rights Watch issued letters to parties and coalition leaders prior to the election, urging the need for a strong human rights agenda, including halting deportations of asylum seekers and refugees and granting UNHCR immediate access to immigration detention centres.
- 15th November: Ahead of the 19th November general election, more than 183,00 refugees fear the new administration will continue with plans to close UNHCR offices and expand an official tracking system. Read more.
- 17th November: A group of Somali refugees in Malaysia advocated for their human rights to shelter upon eviction threats from their condominium. With the help of Asylum Access Malaysia lawyers, they filed an official complaint to the Commission of Buildings (COB) of the Kuala Lumpur City Council along with a request to the human rights commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) to investigate the issue and endorse their complaint to the COB. As a result, the COB issued a letter advising the condominium management to re-evaluate their discriminatory house policies, reminding them that they shouldn’t evict anyone based on their race, religion or culture. Read more here.
- “Left Far Behind: The Impact of COVID-19 on Access to Education and Healthcare for Refugee and Asylum-Seeking Children in Peninsular Malaysia” is a partnership project between UNICEF and IDEAS Malaysia to evaluate the effects of COVID-19 on refugee and asylum-seeking children’s access to education and healthcare in Malaysia and identify evidence-based solutions to address these impacts. With the help of refugees, asylum-seekers, teachers and healthcare workers, the recommendations in the study acknowledge lessons learned amidst the pandemic to provide specific suggestions to address the obstacles and capitalise on new opportunities.
- 2nd November: Asean Parlimentatirans for Human Rights (APHR) launched their Time is not on our side: The failed international response to the Myanmar Coup report with a set of recommendations to move forward and help the Myanmar people in their struggle against the military dictatorship. Watch the report launch here.
- 16th November: Save the Children launched I am Still Living in Darkness: Young Rohingya refugees reflect on five years in Bangladesh. The report demonstrates Rohingya refugee adolescents’, youth’s, and parents' perspectives on how life in the camp has changed over the past five years, especially for young people. They detail their take on improved issues and new difficulties that have arisen, with a detailed analysis of the general changes, education, protection, healthcare, and the ability of refugees to influence decision-making processes. The study's findings expose the ongoing struggles of Rohingya refugees as they endure camp conditions in Bangladesh that appear to become more oppressive every year.
- 24th November: Various prominent organizations and activists have created a greater alliance titled “Arakan Rohingya National Alliance” (ARNA) with the aim of ensuring the persecuted community's safe and dignified survival in their homeland. The ARNA expects to connect Rohingya leaders residing in their homes and abroad to achieve the “self-determination of the Rohingya people within the Federal Union of Myanmar”. Read more here.
- 18th November: RightsNow Pakistan Foundation has established the Tando Allahyar Law College to develop it as a leading institution of excellence in imparting legal education by nurturing students the meet unlimited opportunities in the legal profession, judiciary, and academic for the youth of Tando Allahyar Sindh & Pakistan. Tando Allahyar Law College (TLC) has an expert teaching faculty & dedicated team available to help the students increase their potential in the field of law, justice and human rights.
- 10th November: Fortify Rights received the leaked internal ASEAN document from a credible source close to negotiations between ASEAN member states on the Myanmar crisis. The office of the ASEAN chair—Cambodia—reportedly prepared the undated document following an emergency meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers in Jakarta, Indonesia on 27th October 2022. The document contains 11 numbered points, including equivocal assessments of the situation in Myanmar (e.g., “growing violence from all armed groups is a major concern”) as well as general directives and recommendations for ways forward. It makes no mention of the junta’s ongoing coup d’état, its more than 12,000 political prisoners or the junta’s well-documented nationwide attack on the civilian population. Read more here.
- 10-13th November: After reviewing recommendations put forward following the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 3rd August and Special ASEAN Foreign Ministers on 27th October, the Leaders released a statement acknowledging Myanmar’s lack of progress on the Five Point Consensus and the need for concrete, practical and measurable indicators with a distinct timeline. ASEAN would review Myanmar's representation across all levels of meetings, having barred its military leaders from top meetings since last year.
- Asylum Access received a 4 million USD donation from US-based philanthropist Mackenize Scott to continue their journey in realising refugee rights. “We aim to use this generous gift to promote and actualize an equitable and safe work culture, continue to work with forcibly displaced communities as they reclaim their rights with dignity, and unlock resources for local and refugee-led organizations.” Read more here.
- The International detention Coalition (IDC) has launched the report for Immigration Detention and Alternatives to Detention in the Asia Pacific Report. With the support of OHCHR, the Regional UN Network on Migration for the Asia Pacific, and the Global UN Network on Migration, the report summarises the results of a mapping of the use of immigration detention and alternatives to immigration detention (ATD) in 19 countries across the five sub-regions of the Asia-Pacific region.
- 10th November: The European Union (EU) announced 3 million Euros, to be channelled through UNHCR, for humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees on Bhasan Char. Australia also announced a funding package for Bangladesh and Myanmar of $135 million in 2022-23 to assist with food, water and shelter through partner organisations: UN, IRC and NGOs.
- 22nd November: Japan committed $3.7 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in assistance to the Rohingya refugees in Bhasan Char and host communities in Noakhali. The fund will be used to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services, protect the dignity and safety of women and girls from gender-based violence and empower adolescents and youth.
- 3rd November: Karen Women Organisation (KWO) published an open letter to UNOCHA on its failure to recognize community-run GBV programming in Kawthooeli.
- Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (RRLI) launched its first impact report on systemic and ways-of-working impacts of the Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (RRLI) from May 2021 - August 2022. RRLI received a 10 million USD investment through the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award for the purpose of investing in impactful organizations led by people of forced displacement, regardless of their programmatic focus, in a long-term, relationship-based and collaborative way.
- 4th November: Gender-based violence against women is a pervasive epidemic plugging through various refugee camps around the world. In a recent report, the International Rescue Committee found there was a 51% increase in sexual violence, a 73% increase in intimate partner violence and a 32% rise in early and forced marriages. Read more here.
- LHL launched their Global Summit on Local Leadership: Showcasing practical approaches for a sustainable and just humanitarian system report held on 26-27th July 2022. APRRN conducted one of the sessions on Refugee-led responses in a world of upheaval moderated by our very own Apajok Biar, WGDWG Chair, presented by our Chair Hafsar Tameesuddin and K'Nyaw Paw the General Secretary of Karen Women Organisation (KWO), an APRRN member.
Development opportunities and tools
- Survey: What is Aid to You? NEAR, a growing collective of local and national organisations working to improve the daily lives of their communities through humanitarian response, peacebuilding, and development has launched a survey that will be able to anchor its views and understanding of what Aid in the Global South should look like in the future. NEAR will use these survey responses to inform a discussion paper that will be published early in 2023. The survey should take approximately 5-10 minutes. Click here to complete the survey.
- The Center for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies (CAPRS) has partnered with the Asia Displacement Solutions Platform (ADSP), the Mixed Migration Centre - Asia, and the Danish Refugee Council Diaspora Unit for their second Professional Development Course on Evidence-Based Advocacy for Afghan Diaspora (3-7th November, Copenhagen). The interdisciplinary course builds on modules and tools from APRRN’s annual Refugee Rights and Advocacy course. It aims to strengthen participants’ capacity, expertise and knowledge in advocating for the rights of Afghans in need of protection and expand linkages between the diaspora and civil society in Afghanistan.
- 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 is here.
- The Systems Innovation Learning Partnership (SILP) is launching a call for ideas for its Experimentation Fund to support experiments advancing knowledge and understanding of systems innovation practices, methodologies, and approaches. Priority areas: the needs of those living in poverty and tackling issues related to environment and climate change, human rights, conflict, gender equality and disadvantaged communities. Amount: 100,000 Euros. Deadline: 7 December 2022. Read more here.
- UN Women Asia Pacific has opened a call for proposals on "Advancing women's rights and gender equality in Afghanistan" for projects starting 1 March 2023. Project budget must amount to a minimum of USD 100,000, and a maximum of USD 200,000 (over 24 months). Applicants must be operating and legally registered in Afghanistan. Stated priorities include: (i) small organisations (annual budgets under $200k for last 3 years), (ii) women-led organisations (at least 51% of leadership positions) and (iii) women's rights organizations. Deadline: 11 December 2022. Read more here.
- The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy will soon open a second round of its grants program to strengthen democracy and human rights in Taiwan and Northeast/Southeast Asia. Project categories include: advocacy, research, conferences, publications and education. The majority of grants are between US$3,000 and US$20,000. Deadline: 15 December 2022 (2nd Call, 2022). Read more here.
- The Hanns Seidel Foundation is accepting proposals for projects of development cooperation in India and South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) starting January 2024 for a maximum of three years. No type of activity or format is excluded. Deadline: 15 December 2022. Read more here.
- The Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR) and the Refugee Leadership Alliance have opened a pooled fund to provide core funding to refugee-led organisations (RLOs) in the Asia Pacific. The funding is untied and can be used to enhance any aspect of operation. Deadline: 18 December 2022. Read more here.
- National Endowment for Democracy has a rolling grants program for NGOs worldwide, especially those working in newly established democracies, semi-authoritarian countries, highly repressive societies and countries undergoing democratic transitions. Areas of interest include: human rights, rule of law, freedom of information, strengthening civil society organisations, democratic conflict resolution, freedom of association, and civic education. Applications must be submitted by 19 December 2022 to be considered at the next Board meeting in March 2023. Average grant size: $50,000. Read more here.
- The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) is accepting applications from Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) living in exile to participate in a dynamic capacity development and mentoring fellowship called (Incubator for Defenders Remaining in Exile to Advance Movements) “IDREAM.” Selected HRDs receive up to $31,000 in financial assistance to support their work in the project. Read more here.
- The International Labour Organization (ILO) is launching the eighth edition of its annual Global Media Competition for professional and student journalists. Its aim is to recognize fair and balanced reports that contribute to the elimination of xenophobia and discrimination against migrant workers. Prize options include a partially-paid fellowship or a cash prize of $1,200 USD. Read more here.
- The Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund provides rapid, flexible funding and direct logistical support to women human rights defenders from/working in crisis and conflict-affected areas, working at community, national, regional and/or international levels. There are at least three streams currently open and rolling: an Advocacy Support Stream, a Safety Net Stream and a Short Term Grants Stream. For the advocacy support stream, proposals should ideally be submitted at least 6 weeks before the event takes place. Read more here.
- Financial Solutions for Migrants is an accelerator for impact startups driving financial inclusion of migrants, including refugees and women. The program is designed to help startups identify early milestones, prepare for their next round of capital (if relevant), and meet potential investors. Funding not specified. Legally incorporated for-profit entities in South and Southeast Asia are eligible to apply. Deadline: 6 January 2023. Read more here.
- The Human Rights Defender Advocacy Programme (HRDAP) is open for applications. The programme will take place both remotely and in Geneva for the first time starting April 2023. Such defenders may include migrant rights defenders and minority rights defenders. Deadline: 10 January 2023. Read more here.
If you would like to apply to one of these funds in partnership with APRRN, please reach out to Victoria at email@example.com. 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.
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