Update: The APCRR6 Report is now available here.
The 6th Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights, organised by the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), was a 3 day event held from September 20-22nd 2016 at the Ambassador Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. It drew together 150 participants from non-governmental organizations, academia, community based organisations and international organisations from 24 countries in the region, including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The theme of the consultation was “Building on Positive Practices” – Asmoro Hadiyanto, Secretary General of APRRN, noted, “We are at a very important time where there are great opportunities for tangible changes to be made. We have seen some very promising gains in the region that can be capitalised upon. If we all work together, including governments, UNHCR and civil society, we can begin to institutionalize the rights that refugees deserve and build on some of the positive practices we have seen over the last years.”
The consultations highlighted the resiliency and agency of refugees. “Refugees are an opportunity – not a burden,” said Professor Yiombi Thona, Deputy Chair of APRRN. “Time and time again refugees have displayed themselves to be agents of change and positive contributors to society. When legal frameworks and supports exist, refugees are able to flourish.”
In this year’s consultations, participants discussed and strategised around a number of key thematic and geographic focus areas. Other core issues were also addressed including the Rohingya, livelihoods, engaging with governments and working with communities. Speakers from civil society shared positive practices from across the region that could be used as a foundation for similar activities in other contexts. These formal Action Plans will be available via the APRRN website in the near future.
Some of the updates and changes in APRRN’s structure that were agreed upon at APCRR6 can be found below: