News Briefs (December 2023)
Our News Briefs bring you the latest highlights from the advocacy efforts of APRRN and our members, as well as keeping you informed on upcoming events and activities. We strive to provide regular updates on the network’s activities and developments in the refugee protection sphere, alongside the emerging political climate in the Asia Pacific region. We welcome contributions from members! Please share your updates, information, or resources with Ali at firstname.lastname@example.org
🌟 Wishing You a Year of Hope and Resilience! ✨
As we usher in the New Year, the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network extends heartfelt wishes to all our members, partners, and advocates. May 2024 be a year filled with compassion, strength, and meaningful progress in our collective journey toward refugee rights and dignity.
🎉 Happy New Year 2024 to the incredible APRRN family! 🎉
GLOBAL REFUGEE FORUM 2023
In Geneva, over 3,000 individuals convened for the second Global Refugee Forum (GRF), a pivotal international gathering addressing refugee-related issues. Amid topics such as COP28 and the Gaza conflict, discussions at GRF emphasised representation and refugee involvement in shaping policies and practices that impact their lives. The event saw an increase from the first GRF in refugee delegates from 70 to over 300. However, concerns remain about the genuine impact of this inclusion, as questions arise regarding whether refugees are influencing decisions or being tokenized by governments and institutions. The New Humanitarian, in collaboration with Refugees International and Asylum Access, organised a side-event titled "From refugee inclusion to shifting power: Building a global refugee sector that puts refugees first." Co-Secretary General, Hafsar Tameesuddin, shared their powerful insights during the panel, contributing to discussions about the challenges and opportunities of empowering refugees in decision-making processes. Hafsar stressed the need to constantly reflect on the meaningful participation of refugees and inclusion as a movement without leaving anyone behind, as well as the roles of refugee leaders themselves in doing so.
During the GRF, Hafsar spoke at various panels, including at the event on the launch of the Rohingya Multi-Stakeholders pledge. At the panel, Hafsar highlighted the need to shift narratives of Rohingyas from “Passive recipients of aid to agents of change” and to explore innovative ways to allow Rohingyas to constructively contribute to host communities and societies. Hafsar also had side meetings with permanent missions such as the Switzerland Permanent mission, Luxembourg permanent mission, Belgium mission, Canada mission, and Thailand mission and discussed opportunities on issues of Rohingyas and other refugees in the Asia Pacific Region, including looking into social cohesion, local integration, and complimentary pathways.
“Hafsar Tameesuddin made such an impact in rooms full of dignitaries and diplomats by speaking truth to power and never backed down from honest constructive conversation. My heart is full. Not only did I get to share such an important space with wonderful leaders of our community, but I also got to stand by their side with all the strength of our sisters, mothers, grandmothers and so many women before us.” Yasmin Ullah, Chair of ALTSEAN Burma.
Meetings with established and potential partners in Oslo, Copenhagen, and London
Hafsar along with their Co-Secretary General, Klaus Dik Nielsen, travelled to Copenhagen and Oslo to present and discuss APPRN’s 2023-2027 strategy to the Danish and Norwegian Refugee Councils, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The visits aimed to explore common areas of interest and possible collaboration.
In Copenhagen, Hafsar and Klaus, along with Emma Goldie, APPRN’s Learning Lead, also met with the Social Innovation Learning Partnership (SILP) which is a collaboration between EIT Climate-KIC (Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change) and and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)to shift mindsets and grow capabilities that enable sustainable transformations to happen. SILP is currently funding APPRN’s co-leadership model between persons with and without lived experience of forced displacement as a catalyst for system change and Hafsar, Emma, and Klaus discussed progress and learnings so far and explored ways of continuing the learning journey together with SILP.
Hafsar and Klaus also met with LGBT-Asylum Denmark and exchanged ideas, experience, and possible collaboration on working towards the protection and promotion of the human rights of LGBTQI people on the move. LGBT-Asylum Denmark provides a safe social network, counselling, and support to asylum seekers and refugees on the run due to persecution based on their sexuality or gender identity. They have existed for 12 years and work closely with the Danish Refugee Council.
In London, Klaus met with established and potential financial and non-financial partners, including the Oak Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and ActionAid UK.
Presentation at the 12th Asia Pro Bono Conference
APRRN’s Vulnerable Populations Consultant and lawyer, Rana Refahi, presented together with APRRN Members, Waritsara Rungthong Jub (Refugee Rights Litigation Project), Caroline (Justice Centre Hong Kong), and Julia Mayerhofer (PILnet) on 'Innovative Approaches and Emerging Areas of Refugee Rights Pro Bono' at the 12th Asia Pro Bono Conference (APBC). The APBC is the largest annual gathering of persons supporting or engaged in access to justice, pro bono, and public interest law in Asia, bringing together over 400 participants, from 30 countries in Cebu City, Philippines between 1st and 3rd December 2023 to emphasise and celebrate pro bono and access to justice related work being conducted throughout Asia.
Rana spoke about APRRN’s joint Legal Aid and Pathways Project with PILnet, APNOR, and AMERA International, and how working with law firms providing pro bono legal research has enabled APRRN to create up-to-date country information sheets for destination countries for Afghans in transit in the Asia Pacific.
Fortify Rights, our dedicated member, has reached its 10th anniversary—a momentous occasion that signifies a decade of commitment to hope, activism, and human rights. In celebration of this significant journey, Fortify Rights highlighted significant achievements and extended gratitude to supporters, partners, and the communities it collaborates with, along with those who align with the vision of leveraging hope and upholding human rights. This milestone fuels our enthusiasm for the future, envisioning more decades filled with impactful advocacy, groundbreaking revelations, and fostering positive change. Cheers to continued dedication and the pursuit of our shared values! 🎉 Visit Fortify Rights Website
NEWS FROM THE REGION
The Pakistani government’s 3rd October announcement that all undocumented asylum seekers, including an estimated 1.7 million Afghan nationals living in Pakistan, must leave before 1st November, or face deportation, has led to arrests, detention, and family separation of Afghans and other refugees in Pakistan. APRRN members and other national organisations have been very active in conducting advocacy and providing legal aid.
UNHCR Regional Bureau shared their latest External Emergency Update and CORE Dashboard on the Pakistan-Afghanistan Returns Response as of 4 January 2024. UNHCR’s Afghanistan situation page on the Operational Data Portal contains useful statistics highlighting the sheer numbers displaced.
In the fourth quarter of 2023 alone, over 2000 Rohingya have arrived in Indonesia by boat, and more are anticipated to arrive in the weeks to come. Over 70 percent of recent arrivals are women and children in desperate need of shelter, nutrition, and protection. International organisations, UN specialised agencies, and local NGOs are collaboratively mobilising, advocating, and engaging with stakeholders to deliver essential services to arrivals. Read More Here
Towards the end of the year, in December 2023, a large crowd of Indonesian students stormed a convention center housing Rohingya refugees in the city of Banda Aceh, demanding that they be deported immediately. This has marked a heightened level of escalation of responses in Aceh, Indonesia after the Rohingyas disembarked. The Rohingyas, 137 in number, were led out of the accommodation and were pushed in two trucks to relocate them to a different location. The UNHCR has expressed deep concern about a mob attack of such proportions on a site where refugees were being sheltered. They have called for better protection for refugees.
Civil Society activists suspect that the attacks have been fuelled by the spread of misinformation and/or disinformation to trigger opposition to Rohingya refugees seeking shelter and the right to life in Aceh. There has been a rise of fear-mongering through social media and hate speech content which has both shocked and traumatised many. The use of digital technologies to spread misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech online is a growing phenomenon. And can influence, negative, social and political dynamics by amplifying divisions and increasing hatred, persecution and violence. Read More Here Read More Here Read More Here
Indonesia has called on the international community for assistance as over 1,500 Rohingya refugees have arrived on its shores by boat since November 2023. While Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia are not signatories to the UN's 1951 Refugee Convention, outlining legal protections for refugees, President Widodo stated that the government will provide temporary assistance, but efforts to repatriate Rohingya have faced challenges due to concerns about their safety and widespread discrimination in Myanmar. Read More Here
The surge in anti-refugee sentiment, particularly directed at Rohingya Muslims, is fueled by online misinformation campaigns and organised attacks on the UN, according to human rights activists. The spread of false information through counterfeit UN accounts is exacerbating resentment among Indonesians towards the Rohingya refugees. Concerns are raised about the impact of both fake and genuine accounts disseminating disinformation, prompting calls for increased efforts to counter online hoaxes and safeguard the persecuted group. Miklos Gaspar, the director of the United Nations Information Centre in Jakarta, emphasises the need for vigilant measures against the manipulation of information. Read More Here
Komnas Perempuan expresses deep concern regarding the recent attack and forced displacement carried out by a group claiming to be students against Rohingya refugees on December 27th. This incident is seen as a culmination of the deteriorating treatment of Rohingya refugees over the past two months. They recommended immediate strengthening of coordination across sectors and regions by the government, especially the Ministry of Political, Legal and Security Coordination, to ensure comprehensive responses to the refugee conditions, with a particular emphasis on preventing and handling gender-based violence.
To prevent the situation from worsening, Komnas Perempuan suggests several measures, including improving cross-sectoral and regional coordination, ensuring secure refugee accommodation locations, halting legal approach polemics, addressing hate broadcasts and xenophobia, and reinforcing community-based efforts in handling Rohingya refugees. The organization emphasizes the need to protect humanitarian workers and human rights defenders, with special attention to gender-based vulnerabilities. Komnas Perempuan believes these steps, involving various stakeholders and building on Indonesia's past experiences in handling refugees, can mitigate the challenges faced by Rohingya refugees, particularly women and children, who endure discrimination, persecution threats, and violence.
Fortify Rights and Human Rights Watch have called on the Thai Government to safeguard individuals seeking protection under the National Screening Mechanism (NSM) by exempting them from arrest, detention, and prosecution, according to a letter sent on December 12, 2023. The NSM, designed to identify and protect refugees in Thailand, necessitates an exemption under Section 17 of the 1979 Immigration Act to shield applicants from criminal penalties. Without this, refugees face arbitrary arrest and prosecution for unauthorised entry or stay. The organisations emphasise that Thailand should align its Immigration Act with the spirit of the NSM's, namely to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers are not penalised for seeking protection. The open letter, sent on the eve of the Global Refugee Forum, urges Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to signal Thailand's commitment to refugee protection by granting the requested exemption. T In response to concerns raised by Fortify Rights in December 2022, the letter highlights the need to rectify regulations that exclude certain individuals, including migrants, from NSM protection in Thailand. Read More Here Also Read Here
India faces a delicate balancing act in responding to the Rohingya refugee crisis, necessitating a nuanced approach that reconciles humanitarian concerns with national security imperatives. While it is crucial to prioritise the safety and well-being of Rohingya refugees, India must also address security challenges arising from the situation in the camps. Recent incidents in Indonesia highlight the harsh realities faced by Rohingya refugees globally. India has faced criticism for its treatment of Rohingya refugees, with concerns raised over deportation attempts and the undocumented status of many Rohingyas in the country. The complex socio-economic landscape, potential security threats, and the naturalisation of illegal migrants require a comprehensive approach that involves collaboration with international organisations, neighbouring countries, and effective monitoring mechanisms to balance compassion with security considerations and find lasting solutions to the Rohingya crisis. Read More Here
The Supreme Court has rejected the plea of a 19-year-old Rohingya girl who sought release from what she claimed was unlawful detention, emphasising that the restrictions on her movement cannot be categorised as illegal confinement. The bench, comprising Justices Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta, addressed the petition asserting that the girl was held without any charges by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office. The court highlighted that the petitioner is acknowledged as an illegal immigrant, and there is no trace of her arrival in India. The Central government informed the apex court that, following established procedures, the petitioner would need to be deported to her home country, Myanmar. Read More Here
In an operation conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir police, 39 individuals, including Rohingyas and Bangladesh nationals, were apprehended in a crackdown on foreigners residing illegally across various districts in the Jammu region. The police conducted searches at more than 40 locations in Jammu, Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, and Kishtwar districts. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Anand Jain reported that around 30 searches took place in Jammu district alone, and efforts are underway to identify accomplices involved in the illicit settlement of these foreign nationals. Recovered documents such as land sale deeds, Aadhar cards, bank passbooks, voter cards, and mobile SIM cards suggest locals provided plots for settlement. The police have initiated over 10 FIRs in five districts, with investigations ongoing to determine how these foreigners obtained crucial documents intended only for citizens. The crackdown aims to safeguard national security and protect the interests of Jammu and Kashmir residents, addressing concerns about potential security threats and the strain on local resources posed by undocumented individuals. Read More Here
As of December 21, 2023, Myanmar's military leadership, led by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, faces escalating legal challenges, as several nations fulfill their commitment to intervene in the Rohingya genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The Republic of Maldives and a joint intervention from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have submitted interventions. These legal actions add to the mounting legal jeopardy confronting Myanmar's military, particularly after ethnic armed groups gained ground in various regions of the country following Operation 1027 in October 2023. Simultaneously, Germany's Federal Public Prosecutor General declined to pursue a universal jurisdiction case against the military for alleged genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The ongoing military losses on the battlefield could lead to an existential crisis for the junta, potentially impacting the outcome of the legal proceedings and prompting shifts in the dynamics of the civil war. The military leadership, anticipating the international court cases against them, may explore various strategies to maintain power, but the options are diminishing in the face of resurgent opposition. The evolving situation in Myanmar suggests that Min Aung Hlaing's grip on power may not be as secure as previously perceived, raising the possibility of opposition victory and potential dealmaking involving the military leadership. Read More Here
The Myanmar military, engaged in an ongoing conflict with the Arakan Army (AA), targeted Rohingya villages, including Zedi Taung in Buthidaung Township, resulting in the death of at least 18 Rohingya since November 2023. On December 28, a severe assault on Zedi Taung led to the deaths of a family of six, with only one survivor sustaining severe injuries. In a parallel offensive in Mrauk-U, three Rohingya villages were targeted, causing the death of four villagers and injuries to 16 others. The escalating conflict has left the Rohingya community caught in the crossfire, facing displacement and formidable challenges in establishing safe camps. Ethnic rebel groups accused the Myanmar junta of war crimes, alleging intentional bombings and shelling of civilian targets. The military's blockade on major routes in Rakhine State has resulted in severe shortages of essential supplies for civilians. Read More Here
Starting January 1, 2024, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will increase monthly food vouchers for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, from US$8 to US$10 per person. To address challenges faced throughout the year, including fires, cyclones, and ration cuts, WFP also plans to introduce locally fortified rice distribution in selected camps, later expanding across Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char Island. This aims to improve the nutritional situation, especially among children, with global acute malnutrition reaching 15.1%. WFP seeks additional donor support to bridge the US$61 million funding gap for the increased food ration, now set at US$12.5 with fortified rice. Read More Here
The Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh is intensifying due to internal conflicts among armed groups and a decline in international aid. Around 1 million Rohingya refugees, who fled Myanmar in 2017, confront deteriorating security and economic conditions in overcrowded camps. Armed group clashes, reduced humanitarian aid, and restrictions on refugees' movement and employment by Bangladesh contribute to the crisis, leading to violence, criminal activities, and risky migration attempts. Read More Here
The Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh has severely impacted mental health, exacerbated by trauma and human rights violations in Myanmar. The escalating vulnerability poses risks such as reduced productivity, increased healthcare burdens, elevated suicide rates, and involvement in detrimental activities. Facing challenges in refugee camps, particularly restricted movement and limited access to healthcare and education, the Rohingya community, especially women and girls, risks becoming a "lost generation." Recent adversities, including a massive fire, floods, and landslides, coupled with lasting trauma, have led to a high prevalence of mental health conditions. Integrating Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) into the 2023 Joint Response Plan to address these issues is imperative. Read More Here
Nearly a million Rohingya people have sought refuge since 2017 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, escaping anti-Muslim persecution in Myanmar. Despite constant threats of natural disasters, disease, and hunger, four young Rohingya individuals – Abdullah Habib, Sahat Zia Hero, Shahida Win, and Mohammed Salim Khan – have been honored as the Asia-Pacific regional winners of the Nansen Refugee Award. Their photographs offer a poignant glimpse into daily life, capturing the struggles and resilience of their community. Their work serves as a reminder of the ongoing Rohingya crisis, urging the world not to forget the struggles faced by this persecuted minority. Read More Here
Fleeing brutal violence in Myanmar, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are undertaking perilous sea crossings to escape hunger, kidnapping, and gang violence. Hindered by UN funding shortfalls, refugees in southeast Bangladesh face challenges with insufficient food, while deteriorating security in camps turns them into battlegrounds for armed groups. The UN refugee agency notes a significant increase in arrivals in Indonesia, with Rohingya youths aspiring for a better life. Read More Here
A fire in Balukhali No. 11 Rohingya Camp in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar, burned over 50 houses, with no reported casualties. The fire, originating in E-Block at 2:30 am on Saturday, was brought under control by three units of the fire service and civil defense. The cause is under investigation, and authorities, including the Armed Police Battalion, are determining whether it was intentional or accidental. This incident adds to the ongoing challenges faced by the vulnerable Rohingya community, following previous instances of fires in the camps. Read More Here
The All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia on Refugee Policy (APPGM) has issued a call for the Malaysian government to enhance support for refugees residing in the country through policy revisions. During a press conference on November 29, coinciding with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, APPGM Vice Chairman Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman and member Datuk Mumtaz Md Nawi emphasised the need for clearer policies to protect the rights of Palestinian and other refugees in Malaysia. APPGM acknowledged recent government initiatives addressing the Palestinian crisis but stressed the importance of domestic policy actions to facilitate refugees' access to essential services. The group urged the swift implementation of the amended National Security Council Directive 23, allowing refugees temporary legal employment and education access. APPGM is actively engaging with ministries and special chambers to address refugee-related issues and seek parliamentary support for policy changes ensuring refugee rights and services access. Read More Here
On December 2, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, launched a poignant animated film titled "Lost at Sea", shedding light on the challenging experiences endured by Rohingya refugees in their pursuit of safety. The film is a testament to the resilience of the Rohingya community. It draws inspiration from the real-life journey of Muhib, a Rohingya man who escaped Myanmar and embarked on a perilous sea voyage to find refuge in Malaysia. Muhib, along with numerous men, women, and children, faced a daunting ordeal, stranded for over two weeks on a fishing boat in the Andaman Sea as they sought safety and a new life.
There is a distressing trend of underage Rohingya girls being trafficked to Malaysia, where they are coerced into abusive marriages as a means for their husbands to send money back to their families in Myanmar or Bangladesh. This appalling situation adds to the ongoing hardships faced by the Rohingya community, which, having escaped targeted persecution, has endured years of suffering in overcrowded and squalid refugee camps. The plight of these girls underscores the urgent need for attention and intervention to address the vulnerabilities and abuses faced by the Rohingya population. Read More Here
Australia faces a critical moment in addressing the Rohingya refugee situation in Bangladesh to prevent a potential surge in maritime arrivals. The Rohingya, housed in Cox's Bazar, are at risk of starvation due to reduced international aid, while the security situation in the camps is deteriorating, with criminal gangs exploiting vulnerable inhabitants. Recent upticks in maritime departures to Indonesia raise concerns about Australia becoming the next destination. Australia's past investments in supporting Bangladesh need reassessment as new challenges emerge, requiring urgent action. The Australian government should consider enhancing assistance to Bangladesh, focusing on building the capabilities of the Bangladesh Coast Guard to address people smuggling and related issues. Simultaneously, increased humanitarian aid is crucial to alleviate the push factors leading Rohingyas to embark on perilous journeys. Swift action is imperative to prevent the establishment of a maritime route and ensure regional stability. Read More Here
During the 2023 Global Refugee Forum, held from December 13-15, the United States unveiled 26 commitments across eight multi-stakeholder pledges, showcasing its leadership in addressing the needs of refugees and host communities amidst unprecedented global displacement. The commitments encompass diverse areas, from economic inclusion and social protection to gender equality and protection against gender-based violence, resettlement initiatives, community sponsorship, skills-based complementary pathways, Rohingya-focused efforts, ending statelessness, and refugee-inclusive education. Read More Here
The United States has identified the Rohingya situation as a top priority and committed to a continued increase in the resettlement of Rohingyas, including those from Bangladesh, through the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) in fiscal year 2024. This announcement was part of the new pledges made by the United States at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum. Additionally, the US urged third countries to enhance their efforts in resettling Rohingya refugees. The commitments include leveraging the US's experience and leadership roles in encouraging other nations to create or expand third-country solutions for Rohingya refugees. The US is also focusing on Rohingya refugees gaining employment through its new labor mobility program, Welcome Corps at Work, while supporting education and skills development programs for Rohingya refugees and host communities. Read More Here
A diplomatic breakthrough has allowed 62 Rohingya refugees to embark on a new life in the United States, offering them a sense of hope and security that was previously denied in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. Bangladesh had previously barred their resettlement since 2010 but allowed a limited number to leave for the US in December 2023. While the first resettlements are seen as a positive step, security concerns persist for activists, and the need for more extensive resettlement efforts is emphasised by organisations like Refugees International and Fortify Rights. Yasmin Ara, a Rohingya activist now in the US, expresses the newfound freedom and security she feels, highlighting the challenges faced by Rohingya living in the camps and the potential for improvement through resettlement. Read More Here
An urgent plea has been issued by UNHCR for the rescue of approximately 185 Rohingya refugees stranded at sea in the Indian Ocean. Departing from Bangladesh, the boat's engine failure has left the refugees, primarily women and children, in a dire situation near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Escaping overcrowded camps in Bangladesh after fleeing Myanmar, where over 750,000 Rohingya were forced to leave due to a military crackdown in 2017, the refugees are in critical need of assistance. The UNHCR reports at least one passenger has died, and several others are in critical condition, emphasising that without timely rescue and disembarkation, more lives are at risk. The agency urges coastal states to deploy search and rescue capacities to prevent a larger tragedy and underscores the ongoing peril faced by Rohingya undertaking hazardous sea journeys in search of safety. Read More Here
Reports & Publications
An audio series produced and published by RDI UREF, entitled "Lost in the Crowd: The Significance of Place in a Young Refugee’s Fight Against the Refugee Narrative," is an audio presentation for the USF Seminar Series "Overlooked Cities in Asia: Interrogating blind fields in urban knowledge and praxes" held in Bandung, Indonesia. Available for public listening, the series delves into the experiences of some of the over 12,000 refugees residing in Indonesia. The narrative follows the journey of a young Hazara refugee from Afghanistan revealing the challenges he faces as a 'resident' without a permanent home, a 'citizen' without citizenship, and a human with limited recognition of his rights. The narrative unfolds across three parts, delving into his creative works, experiences in Indonesian cities, and the shaping of his identity through displacement, offering insight into the everyday struggles of one of the most overlooked refugee groups in asserting their right to the city. Read More Here Listen on Spotify
Human Rights Day was commemorated with Afghan refugee communities on December 10, 2023, in the Afghan Refugee Settlements in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, as part of the Center for Migration and Displacement's (CMD) initiative. The CMD team, which has been working on refugee rights, responded to the growing threats faced by Afghan refugees in Karachi and other parts of Sindh due to reported violence, harassment, illegal arrests, false charges, extortion, and other unlawful activities by the police. This prompted CMD to not only address these concerns but also celebrate Human Rights Day with the refugee community, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding the rights of all individuals, including refugees. Read the Report Here
A comprehensive research report titled "Every Day, I Remember They Destroyed My Life" by LAW explores the enduring physical and psychosocial consequences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) committed by the Myanmar military during the 2017 'Clearance Operations' against the Rohingya. The multidisciplinary research aims to assess the ongoing impact of SGBV on Rohingya survivors, examining its potential classification as genocide under international law. Unlike previous studies, this research delves into the lasting effects of systematic SGBV on survivors' mental health, reproductive capacity, familial relations, and its broader societal impact. The findings reveal significant and long-term physical injuries, severe psychological distress, and disruptions in familial and societal structures. Recommendations include urgent efforts to hold Myanmar accountable for international crimes, enhanced protection measures for survivors' involvement in justice proceedings, and the establishment of quality, long-term support for Rohingya SGBV survivors. LAW dedicates this research to the Rohingya victims, acknowledging their courage in sharing their experiences and advocating for justice.
Stateless Conference in Malaysia February 2024
Hafsar will be participating in the statelessness conference held in Kuala Lumpur from 26 February to 29 February to represent APRRN, engage with the partners, and explore the opportunities to collaborate and add value to the statelessness issues in our region and beyond. Hafsar will also be speaking at the panel event with Nationality for All on 27 February to explore how solidarity is framed, who plays the role in building solidarity, and if there are different roles NGOs, affected persons, and allies can play in strengthening solidarity and sharing some good practices and challenges to overcome.
During the last two weeks of February, Hafsar will meet with the RLOs, partners, NGOs, and INGOs including some missions to push the advocacy on work rights and access to education for refugees.
Awards and Prizes
Deaconess Community Foundation
ASIA is thrilled to share the news of a grant award from the Deaconess Community Foundation. This funding will be directed towards supporting ASIA's Refugee Farm Program, an initiative designed to empower recently arrived immigrants and refugees to overcome language and cultural challenges. The program aims to leverage the agricultural skills of these individuals, enabling them to achieve self-sufficiency. The Deaconess Community Foundation committed to providing resources that facilitate organisations in empowering individuals towards self-sufficiency, plays a pivotal role in supporting ASIA's impactful Refugee Farm Program.
The Foundation provides resources that help organisations empower people to become self-sufficient.
One Day’s Wages
One Day’s Wages is a grassroots initiative uniting people, narratives, and efforts to combat severe global poverty. Our mission involves collaborating with reputable nonprofit organisations that empower local leaders to bring about enduring transformations within their communities. Emphasising the significance of every individual's narrative and contribution, we engage in partnerships through matching grants. In this collaborative approach, our partners raise a portion of the grant funds, and we reciprocate by matching the amount they generate. The initiative covers diverse areas such as Children’s Education, Climate Impact, Gender-Based Violence, Girls’ Empowerment, Global Hunger, Human Trafficking, Jobs & Skills, Maternal & Child Health, Preventable Disease, Refugee Relief, and Water & Sanitation.
Amount: $5,000 – $30,000
UN Women's 27th grant cycle for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) is now open, featuring two funding windows. The General Window focuses on addressing violence against marginalised women and girls experiencing intersecting forms of discrimination. Additionally, the Special Window aims to tackle violence against women and girls affected by crises. The call invites civil society organisations with proven expertise in ending violence against women and girls to submit project concepts. Particularly encouraged are applications from women's rights, women-led, constituent-led, and small organisations, which will be prioritised. The initiative also promotes partnerships with smaller, local, and grassroots women’s and girls’ rights organisations, allowing up to 4 implementing partners.
Deadline: 1 February 2024
Amount: USD 150,000 to USD 1,000,000
The Dr. Abigail Ross Foundation for Applied Conservation (TDARFAC) invites applications for its Grant Program, emphasising the support of innovative applications of techniques and approaches from both natural and social sciences to address real-world challenges. The foundation focuses on three key objectives: building capacity, amplifying voices, and fostering partnerships with local communities. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2024, with two project categories. Short-term or pilot projects, lasting six months or less, can receive funding ranging from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000. Long-term projects, extending beyond six months, are eligible for grants ranging from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $20,000. Read More Here
The European Commission (EC)
The European Commission (EC) has issued a call for proposals aimed at promoting and safeguarding human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy, and the rule of law. The initiative comprises two lots with distinct objectives. Lot 1, focusing on equal rights and diversity, aims to promote the rights of individuals living with disabilities and combat discrimination, stigmatisation, and violence against the LGBTIQ+ community, ensuring equal rights in law and practice. Lot 2 concentrates on the protection and promotion of ethnic minorities' rights, specifically aiming to guarantee equal rights and eliminate discrimination in ethnic minorities' access to citizenship, land, and social services.
Deadline: April 08, 2024
minimum amount: EUR 400 000
maximum amount: EUR 615 000
The Direct Aid Program (DAP)
The Australian Embassy in the Philippines has initiated a call for proposals for the Direct Aid Program (DAP) for the 2023-24 financial year. The proposed project or activities under DAP should prioritize participation and address the needs of various sectors, including disadvantaged children and women, people with disabilities, indigenous peoples, the elderly, those displaced due to conflict and natural calamities, members of the LGBTQI community, the poorest and most vulnerable groups, and initiatives related to the environment and climate change.
Amount: PhP1 million
Deadline: 31 January 2024
Agency for International Development
The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Inclusive Growth, Partnerships, and Innovation (IPI) Inclusive Development Hub (ID) LGBTQI+ Team, is inviting interested applicants to submit Concept Notes to advance the inclusive development of LGBTQI+ communities and individuals. The objectives include promoting LGBTQI+ rights in accessing education, professional development, employment opportunities, and sustainable livelihoods, as well as enhancing access to quality basic health services, including mental health and psychosocial support. Another objective is to strengthen LGBTQI+-led organisations and/or coalitions to effectively counter anti-rights actors. This call for proposals encourages regional/multi-country civil society organisations (CSOs) and/or coalitions, particularly those based in USAID presence countries in the Global South and East, to contribute to the advancement of LGBTQI+ rights.
Deadline: March 15, 2024
Award Ceiling: $10,000,000
Award Floor: $500,000
The International Trans Fund (ITF)
The International Trans Fund (ITF) is thrilled to commence its 8th Grant Cycle with a transformative shift in its grants management approach. The ITF emphasises priorities in grantmaking, focusing on funding a diverse range of groups inclusive of various identities, strategies, issues, languages, and regions. Special attention is given to reaching trans communities experiencing heightened levels of marginalisation due to factors like racism, classism, ageism, ableism, and misogyny. The ITF aims to support trans-led organisations that work intersectionality, contributing to social and economic justice, trans movement building, and the liberation of trans people. This cycle introduces a new grants portal to enhance the applicant experience, eliminate barriers, and streamline the grantmaking process.
Deadline: January 19, 2024
SEED Grant: $10,000 to $25,000 /year
THRIVE Grant: $25,000 to $50,000 /year
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