Annual Report 2022
2022 was a busy and challenging year for APRRN. The two major, protracted refugee crises facing our region, Afghanistan and Myanmar, caused escalating levels of suffering amid inadequate and underfunded regional and international responses.
For those displaced from and within Afghanistan, APRRN has created a series of multilingual resources, including a microsite, identifying legal routes to safety for displaced Afghans, and also supported women-led organisations in Afghanistan. APRRN continued its deep engagement in the response to Rohingya displacement from Myanmar through its expert Rohingya Working Group and expanded its work on displacement from Myanmar more widely through research on local and refugee-led responses to displacement on the Thai and Indian borders. APRRN, with its members, has since developed a project to respond to displacement in Northeast India. APRRN also persisted in using all available opportunities to advocate for the recognition of basic refugee rights in countries of asylum and the creation of safe and legal routes to safety for those unable to secure protection.
APRRN continued to expand its work with refugee-led organisations and initiatives (RLOs and RLIs). In partnership with APRRN member, the Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR), we designed and delivered a technical skills training program for 20 refugee leaders from across the Asia Pacific aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills needed to run refugee-staffed organisations in extremely challenging operating contexts. Many components of the course were created and delivered by refugee leaders with firsthand knowledge of organisational and capacity development. APNOR will lead in this work in 2023 and APRRN will continue to create funding partnerships with RLIs.
While it is significant that APRRN employs more Secretariat staff and consultants with lived experience than ever before, and that representation in our governing bodies by people with lived experience is at an all-time high, we can and should be doing more to be reflective of the communities we represent while seeking to transfer greater power to those same communities. With this in mind, the Steering Committee has developed a new model of co-leadership at the Secretary-General level where at least one of the two Secretaries General positions will require the lived experience of forced displacement. That will represent a further step in the right direction but there is still far to travel for APRRN as an organisation - and for the wider sector - before we achieve meaningful levels of equity, justice, participation, and leadership. That next part of the journey will begin in 2023 and we will, as ever, be reliant on and led by our members in this new chapter.
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