Biweekly Briefs (16-31 January 2022)
The following brief details highlights of advocacy efforts undertaken by APRRN and partners over the past two weeks, 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.
- 21 January: The Refugee Council of Australia published a media release on the Australian government’s response to the Afghan refugee resettlement situation. Paul Power, the Chief Executive Officer, said the four-year commitment announced today of just 10,000 humanitarian places and 5,000 family reunion places w-as hopelessly inadequate, given the scale of need and the generosity of Australian response to past crises.
- 24 January: Sitarah Mohammadi (Deputy Chair of APRRN) and Sajjad Askary (Deputy Chair of APRRN’s Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Working Group) wrote an op-ed for the Sydney Morning Herald in response to the Australian government’s announcement about their migration programme which initially would be allocating 15,000 visas to Afghan nationals, and called on the need for the government to increase visa places for Afghan refugees above the original quota.
- 27 January: Fortify Rights published a news release calling on the Bangladesh government to investigate the abductions of Rohingya Christians from refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar District and to provide protection for them.
- 22 January: New Zealand-Myanmar Ethnics Council Inc released a joint statement calling for urgent emergency relief for those who have been displaced from Myanmar in Mizoram State, India.
- The Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign has published an updated report of their ongoing work with the refugee community in Penang. The report also covers issues including education, child marriage, community leadership, COVID-19, and youth.
- 20 January: ALTSEAN-BURMA released their Fact Sheet on Myanmar. The fact sheet covered issues on clashes between the military junta and the various ethnic armed organisations, the widespread human rights abuses committed by the junta upon innocent civilians, airstrikes on civilian populations, and civilian displacement.
- 20 January: ALTSEAN-BURMA and Progressive Voice co-organised a webinar, ‘Emergency in Myanmar: What Can Norway Do at the UN Security Council?’, which looked at Norway’s long-term support of Myanmar’s struggle against military dictatorship. In January, Norway assumed the Presidency of the UN Security Council. The Norwegian Presidency’s priorities include women, the peace and security agenda as well as the protection of civilians in conflicts – both highly relevant to the crisis assailing Myanmar today. To find out more about the discussions on what Norway can do, please refer to their video on YouTube.
On the radar
Fundraising opportunity: RUN Hong Kong is currently running a WiFA x RUN Virtual Fitness Challenge fundraising campaign to support vulnerable refugees to rebuild their mental and physical strength, unite across differences as a community, and nurture self-reliance for a more hopeful future.
Funding opportunity: The Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (RRLI) is providing funds for refugee-led organisations (RLOs) in Indonesia. RRLI is a coalition of refugee-led organisations which seek to resource RLOs to uplift communities and combat systematic refugee exclusion within refugee response. Applications close on 4 March. Learn more about the funding opportunity here.
Charity: The Manushya Foundation is running a fundraising campaign for displaced people and refugees from Myanmar as a result of the violence perpetrated by the military in Kayah state in late December 2021. For more information, please go here.
Development opportunity: 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.
Job opportunity: The Refugee Council of Australia on behalf of the Asia Pacific Network of Refugees is seeking a Communications Officer to promote the work, concerns, and ideas of refugees and refugee-led organisations through news media, bulletins, social media, and assisting in writing and editing copy of awareness and advocacy campaigns. Applications close on 24 February. For the full job description, please go here.
Scholarship opportunity: SAP SE, a multinational software corporation, is offering a scholarship programme for refugees and displaced youth aged between 18 and 30. SAP will fund 50 associate degrees and 50 bachelor’s degrees in computer science or business administration at the University of the People, where they currently have more than 10,000 students with refugee backgrounds.
Job opportunity: Borderless 360 is seeking an energetic and dedicated person to map, build, and execute the technical architecture of its digital platform. The ideal candidate will have professional experience in online solutions, platform planning and development across multiple initiatives within a single organisational structure, and be passionate about refugee rights. Applications close at midnight Singapore time on 1 March. Learn more about the full job description here.
Learning opportunity: The Centre for Peace and Justice, BRAC University (CPJ), is launching a five-day Short Course on Refugee Studies on 12 - 16 March. The online course will bring together scholars and practitioners and offer participants a unique learning experience focusing on a range of themes broadly relating to refugee studies, particularly the Rohingya refugee situation in Bangladesh. The course fee is approximately USD250 and applications close on 1 March. Learn more about the course here.
From the secretariat
APRRN is delighted to welcome our new Afghanistan Consultant to our network. Rana is a British-Iranian U.K.-trained lawyer. She has worked with refugees and people seeking asylum for almost 20 years in the U.K., Thailand, Germany, and Jordan. Rana has represented Afghan refugees in their applications for asylum and resettlement throughout that time. As of August 2021, Rana has been working with legal networks supporting Afghans through evacuation, resettlement, and humanitarian support. Rana is delighted to be co-leading APRRN's work on Afghanistan, to improve protection, assistance, and resettlement for Afghans within Afghanistan ands neighbouring countries at this time of great need.
For more than 13 years, APRRN has been a leader in the region, developing unique strategies and interventions that have directly advanced refugees’ socio-economic inclusion and equitable rights in a region facing severe human rights crises. APRRN plays a critical role in the civil society response to forced displacement, advocating for the rights of refugees through coordinated regional action to promote the implementation of refugee protective policy and legislation. Please support APRRN by contributing to our campaign, to ensure this crucial work continues unabated, while also enabling us to continue to respond to emerging and ongoing crises in Afghanistan and Myanmar.
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