Aliran is dismayed that the most fundamental requirements of refugee protection, especially the basic human rights of all refugees, is not covered by the Australia-Malaysia asylum seekers-for-refugees swap deal signed on 25 July 2011 – notwithstanding that Malaysia is not a state party to the 1951 Refugees Convention.
Asylum seekers in Malaysia have never had any guarantee of safety in this country as Malaysian immigration laws do not recognise those granted official UNHCR refugee status. This month, as in years past, is the month of the refugee. World Refugee Day falls on 20 June, a day significant to all refugees and asylum seekers hoping to be freed from fear and danger to life and liberty.
To mark World Refugees Day on 20 June, we carry a three-part story by Antonio Graceffo on the difficult and perilous plight of Shan refugees in Malaysia.
Cambodia should provide safe asylum for Montagnards fleeing Vietnam’s Central Highlands even after it closes the United Nations’ refugee centre in Phnom Penh for Montagnards on 15 February 2011, Human Rights Watch has said.
Thailand should immediately allow the United Nations refugee agency unhindered access to 211 detained ethnic Rohingya asylum seekers to determine whether they qualify for refugee status, Human Rights Watch said on 2 February 2011.
Angeline Loh takes issue with The Star for an article which she feels promotes xenophobia towards Myanmar refugees, many of whom are forced to beg because they are unable to work here.
Aliran strongly urges the government to stop deportation of undocumented migrants some of whom could be asylum seekers qualifying for determination of their status as refugees by UNHCR.
Like Burma’s other neighbors, India hosts a large and growing refugee population, the majority of whom are Chin ethnic minorities. India generally tolerates the presence of Burmese refugees, but does not afford them any legal protection, leaving them vulnerable to harassment, discrimination, and deportation.
Aljazeera gives us a rare glimpse of conditions inside a crowded Malaysia immigration detention centre (Part 2 above and Part 1 below).
We, the undersigned organisations, wish to express our support for the development of a regional solution to the plight of the Rohingya that is founded upon a respect for their rights and draws upon the support of the international community. However, we are concerned that while regional solutions have been discussed, including at the recent Asean summit, some of the proposals suggested to date and some of the recent actions towards the Rohingya are in violation of their rights.