APRRN Annual Report 2018

In 2018, the number of people forced from their homes in the Asia Pacific reached a staggering mark of 7.7 million. According to the UNHCR, a majority of them root from war-torn Afghanistan and Myanmar, casting some of the most protracted refugee situations.


Reflecting the year that has passed, APRRN members continue to witness the trauma refugees face, the reception of host communities, the remarkable resilience and incredible coping mechanisms of those seeking refuge. We see the extreme deteriorating state of refugees, especially the children on Nauru and Manus island. Despite the humanitarian catastrophe, Yemeni refugees fleeing war continue to face opposition and hostility, sparking protests in South Korea. The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar has displaced nearly one million in count and the Burmese Chin refugees in Malaysia and India battled UNHCR’s decision on the cessation of their refugee status. We also see the narrowing of resettlement quotas in the United States – a country deem as the forefront of refugee resettlement for decades. On the positive end, we see Sri Lankan refugees promised safe return and the Pakistan government pledging citizenship for over 1.5 million Afghan refugees in the country.

Over the past year, the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) and its respective members have been actively involved in a range of national, regional and international advocacy initiatives and efforts across the region – amplifying the voices of refugees in different capacities. With that, APRRN is pleased to present you the 2018 Annual Report, reflecting and highlighting some of our key achievements, insights and outcomes in the past year.

Key Achievements

AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND AND THE PACIFIC

  • Australia: Letter campaign to raise the issue of offshore detention in Manus and Nauru with Members of the Parliament.
  • New Zealand: Engagement with the government for positive durable solutions for refugees. New Zealand doubled their resettlement quota.


  • SOUTH ASIA

  • Afghanistan: Scoping mission and combined mission to identify potential support.
  • Bangladesh: Field mission to refugee camps and hosted a closed-door regional roundtable, supporting the work for two years.
  • India: Push to end the cessation of Chin refugee status and capacity building for South Asians working closely with refugees through the annual Short Course on Refugee Rights and Advocacy.


    SOUTH EAST ASIA

  • Thailand: Strengthening national ownership of refugee issues, continued engagement with the government and diplomatic briefing following the scoping mission to Malaysia and Thai-Burma border.
  • Philippines: Organised the very first series of refugee forums on refugee awareness and protection mechanisms.


  • EAST ASIA

  • Taiwan: Building national capacities to address refugee protection concerns, and continued engagement with officials


  • Others include our advocacy around the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM); engagement with ASEAN; hosting our first Asia Summit of Refugees and the 7th biennial Asia Pacific Consultation Refugee Rights, and more.


    Membership

    APRRN’s diverse membership now reaches 402 organisations and individuals across 29 countries in the region. The diversity of the network, coupled with the dedication of members have proven to be key in the success and legitimacy of the network. Continued mutual-learning and information sharing through roundtables, conferences and short courses have also led to greater effectiveness and capacity of our members. The APRRN network has enabled the collective concerns of and solutions for refugees and other displaced people, feeding into larger international frameworks and networks with the power to affect systematic change.



    The APRRN Secretariat would like to commend and heartily thank all members who have dedicated time and efforts in strengthening and advocating for the deliberately silenced. We look forward to working more effectively in addressing the needs of those who are in protracted situations, reducing the numbers of those displaced and helping all to rebuild a life of safety and dignity.


    The PDF report can be found here.

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