April 2015 Issue

THIS MONTH @APRRN

1111Regional Activities

National Roundtables

APRRN Short Course on Gender & Forced Migration

APRRN Field Trips

Of Interest

Upcoming Events

Regional Activities

The Nansen Initiative Civil Society Meeting, ” Climate Change, Disasters & Human Mobility in South Asia” – February 2 & 3, Kathmandu.

The Nansen Initiative Civil Society Meeting “Climate Change, Disasters, and Human Mobility in South Asia” brought together around 70 participants from the South Asia region. Participants represented civil society, international NGOs and as well as research institutions and with representatives from countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The meeting was co-hosted by the Nansen Initiative, APRRN and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), with generous financial support from the MacArthur Foundation. APRRN was asked to present during the session entitled, “ Protection in the Context of Human Mobility and Disasters in South Asia”.

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This presentation highlighted the need for regional cooperation and the strong role that civil society can play as a proactive force and setting the agenda towards this goal. APRRN also introduced its “Vision on Regional Protection”, highlighting the ongoing process for its development and addressing the necessary next steps are towards achieving a regional protection mechanism.

The meeting was attended by members of the APRRN Secretariat- Executive Director Anoop Sukumaran and Programme Manager Julia Mayerhofer, and APRRN Chair Dr. Gopal Krishna Siwakoti. To read more on the report click here.

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SAPA Working Group on ASEAN Regional Strategy Meeting – February 5, Bangkok.

At this meeting APRRN had the opportunity update and share information on key areas of recent activity. Such as, the ASEAN Civil Society Conference and the accompanying workshops, APPRNs advocacy work on immigration detention of children, our continued engagement with the AICHR (Indonesia and Thailand) and the future prospect of engagement with the Women’s Caucus and ACWC. Other key points addressed over the course of the meeting included individual reports from the Migrant Worker, Human Rights and Burma SAPA Task Forces. Regional network updates from the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, Child Rights Coalition Asia and Asia Democracy Network and a further update and discussion on the upcoming ACSC/APF to be held in Malaysia later this month. For more information on ACSC/ APF click here.


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2015 ICV Annual Conference on Partnerships & 16th ICVA General Assembly –  March 9 &10, Geneva.

The Annual Conference on Partnerships: From Principles to Practice… The importance of partnership remains a recurring theme of effective humanitarian programming. Its importance regularly arises in various World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) consultations, which provide an important opportunity to further these discussions at a global level. The 2015 ICVA Annual Conference was an opportunity for members and partners to discuss the value and implementation of the Principles of Partnership (PoP) in the lead up to the WHS – and to generate ideas to further transform the PoP into reality on the ground. Specifically, the 2015 Annual ICVA conference provided a platform for participants to share experiences on issues such a the value of PoP, sharing achievements, good practices and innovations. The conference examined the state of play of the PoP and reviewing the state of partnerships within the humanitarian sector – the UN, NGOs, INGOs and the private sector. ICVA is preparing a detailed report of the event that will be shared with APRRN.

16th ICVA General Assembly… APRRN members who are also ICVA members have been associated with the assembly and the ICVA board for many years. This however, this was the first time APRRN  attended the Assembly as an official member. The key points of discussion included the work of ICVA, the ICVA strategic plan, financed and the work of the regional hubs. The ICVA board was also elected by the General Membership, which is made up of 9 members. APRRN was elected to the ICVA board along with CSFI – who is also a member of APRRN. The elections were conducted through a secret ballot. (Note: ICVA General Assembly meets every three years.)


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Project Southeast Asia: Southeast Asian Studies Symposium – March 20 -24, Kuala Lumpur.

APRRN was invited to organise a roundtable on the “Vulnerabilities of women and children in a forced migration context”. The workshop provided an overview of forced migration issues in Southeast Asia and highlighted the protection of challenges of concerned groups. Within this regional context, the vulnerabilities of women and children are exacerbated. The risk of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), especially towards women and children, is particularly heightened in a forced migration context. The roundtable brought together experts and practitioners to discuss specific situations and issues through a gender-focused lens. Discussions evolved around the following issues:

  1. Access to rights for migrant, refugee and stateless women and children
  2. Impacts of SGBV against women and children in a forced migration context (illustrated with a case study)
  3. Resiliency and coping mechanisms used by women and children in the migratory context
  4. The effects of detention on women
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Speakers: Helen Brunt (APRRN), Aegile Fernandez from (Tenaganita), Sharmila Sekaran (Voice of the Children), Jo Baker (Human Rights Consultant &Researcher Hong Kong), Rosa Martins (Ba Futuru) and Sumita Viswanathan (Women’s Aid Organisation Malaysia.)

Click here for more information on the symposium

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National Roundtables

Indonesia

On February 23 the National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia (Komnas HAM) hosted the National Roundtable on Ending Immigration Detention of Children in Indonesia in their offices in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Roundtable was supported by Suaka, the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), and the International Detention Coalition (IDC) and was designed to be an opportunity for Indonesian civil society and relevant government officials to meet and discuss the situation of children in immigration detention and the possibilities of adopted alternatives to detention.

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Officials from a number of detention centres and representatives from a number of ministries attended the Roundtable. A key outcome of the event was the establishment of a working group comprised of government officials and Suaka members. The goal of the working group is to encourage continuous and ongoing dialogue about alternatives to detention.


Thailand

On February 25, APRRN co-hosted a Roundtable on ending immigration detention of childrenwith the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand and the International Detention Coalition (IDC). The Roundtable was preceded by two civil society meetings on February 10 and February 24, where organisations working on detention issues met and discussed some of their goals for the outcome of the Roundtable and ideas for moving forward on this issue. Similar to the Indonesia roundtable, the Thailand roundtable was designed to be an opportunity for civil society and representatives from key government ministries to meet and discuss the situation of children in immigration detention, and the potential for implementing alternatives to detention (ATD). There was agreement that the working group on immigration detention which is being led by NHRCT should be re-activated and civil society brought into the group in order to strategies about effective ways to engage with the Thai government. Technical and logistical support from IDC and APRRN was also offered to assist the Working Group to take forwards some of the recommendations identified in the Roundtable. APRRN had an initial follow-up discussion with the NHRCRT on March 16 where they expressed willingness to explore pilot projects on ATDs. In addition APRRN also facilitated a follow-up civil society workshop on March 25 to discuss the next steps.

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The roundtable was joined by 31 participants representative of the Thai government Ministries and Departments, National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT), UN agencies (UNHCR, UNICEF), international organisations (ICRC, IOM), and civil society (local NGOs, Lawyers Council of Thailand)….

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APRRN Short Course on Gender & Forced Migration

The Short Course on Gender and Forced Migration took place from February 17-20 in Bangkok, Thailand. The aim of the course was to strengthen participants’ capacity, expertise and knowledge in working on forced migration issues in the region. The course was an interdisciplinary overview on forced migration covering political, legal, social, economic, and programmatic aspects. This year the course looked at advocacy and programming through a gender lens and focused on the specific challenges and responses of women in the forced migration process.

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20 participants attended the course led by Geraldine Doney (Refugee Research Centre) and Brian Barbour (Japan Association for Refugees), with assistance by Julia Mayerhofer and Amy Testa of the APRRN Secretariat. Guest speakers included: Mike Hayes (Institute for Human Rights and Peace, Mahidol University), Greg Constantine, Pajaree Suwannakarn and Yamini Pande (UNHCR), Francisco Cos Montiel (UN Women), and Kate Sheill (GAATW). Photo © UNHCR/C. Doan

The course was split into the following two modules:

  1. An introduction to the concept of gender and general overview of forced migration in the Southeast Asia. The module provided a brief refresher on the international, regional and national protection regimes and examined responses by civil society, government, international and intergovernmental organisations.
  2. Focus on programmatic aspects such effective community engagement strategies and developing advocacy plans. Different advocacy models were also explored in order to develop an understanding of how to better promote and protect the rights of persons of concern.

Read more on the importance of a gendered perspective….

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APRRN Field Trips

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(Anoop Sukumaran & Amy Testa outside the National Bar Association, Nepal)

APRRN Secretariat representatives visited Malaysia, Cambodia and Nepal in the first quarter of 2015. During these visits with APRRN members, the Secretariat met both old and new members to increase APRRN’s visibility in each country, and to discuss ways APRRN can further assist our members in the future and strengthen collaboration between members. Additional field trips are planned for the second quarter to continue our efforts to develop lasting relationships between members and the Secretariat.

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Of Interest

Youth and Adolescents in Emergencies Working Group (YAE) – Call for participants

The YAE group is made up of APRRN members, external partners and the UNHCR. The group itself has been very active in for the UNHCR NGO 2016 consultations to have a youth theme and for UNHCR to support an international youth consultation programme in the lead up to the 2016 consultations. The theme and programme are to be launched at this year’s consultation in July. YAE have approached APRRN to take part in the programme and we are now looking for APPRN memebers who wish to contribute and participate.

Click here for a general description, proposed outline and further project details. 

A concept note is also available upon request. If you are interested to participate please contact Julia at julia@aprrn.info or David at dkeegan@ssi.org.au.


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Justice Centre Hong Kong Report

Justice Centre Hong Kong has filed a shadow report to the UN Committee against Torture in light of Hong Kong (under China)’s review by the Committee this year. The report discusses the main concerns with the 1-year old government screening system (“Unified Screening Mechanism” or USM) as well as low efforts to combat human trafficking in the territory.  Click here for the full report

APRRN Web Consultant

APRRN is currently looking for a website consultant to help redesign and revitalize ouR APRRN website. If you know of any potential candidates please let us know and we will happily forward them further details regarding the job description and other specific requirements.  Or, ask them to contact Julia at Julia@aprrn.info


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Upcoming Events

Nansen Initiative SA Inter-governmental meeting: “Climate Change, Disasters and Human Mobility in South Asia and the Indian Ocean” (April 3-5, Khulna, Bangladesh)

Following on from February’s meeting in Nepal, this month’s Nansen Initiative SA Inter- governmental meeting will continue to extend the discussion on human mobility in the context of disasters and climate change across the region. In particular the meeting plans to look at specific country experiences in terms of – protection, assistance, and durable solutions for displaced persons in the context of disasters, and discussions around migration as adaption to natural hazards.

ASEAN People’s Forum (April 21-24, Kuala Lumpur)

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With an expected 1,000 participants in Kuala Lumpur later this month, this year’s ASEAN Peoples Forum will celebrate it’s ten years of engagement with civil society and ASEAN governments. Over the four days events will include hearing former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and 65 thematic workshops. APRRN will be involved in two panels:

    •  Forced migration in Southeast Asia/ Gendered perspectives
    • Children in the context of migration: Positive practices in the ASEAN region

UNHCR NGO Annual Consultations 2015 (July 1-3, , Geneva)

APRRN will be attending this year’s annual consultations, which will focus on the topic of forced displacement. Click here for more information on UNHCR NGO Consultations.

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