WHAT WE DO
The Asia Pacific is the site of some of the world's most acute and protracted refugee situations, being home to two of the largest refugee-producing countries in the world, Myanmar and Afghanistan from which persecution and armed violence continue to drive men, women, and children fleeing to neighbouring countries within the region. Two of the largest populations of stateless people in the world live in the Asia Pacific, a region for which climate-related displacement is predicted to rise in the near future.
INTRODUCTION TO APRRN
The Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) is a collaborative movement that advances the equal rights and inclusion of refugees and other people in need of protection—including refugees, asylum seekers, torture survivors and complainants, trafficked persons, IDPs, stateless persons, migrants in vulnerable situations and returnees—in the Asia Pacific region so they may have equal and adequate access to assistance and protection, and to timely durable solutions. APRRN is the only regional organisation working to convene momentum and direct collaboration to advance refugee inclusion and equitable rights in the Asia Pacific. APRRN is an open and growing network of over 200 individuals and organisations in 28 countries across the globe. APRRN is led by two women with lived refugee experience. The network’s current Chair is a formerly stateless Rohingya woman.
WHAT IS HAPPENING
There are 4.4 million refugees and asylum seekers in the Asia Pacific, who lack fundamental human rights or inclusion in civil society as many states in the region do not have any refugee protection frameworks or systems for advancing policy. The region maintains the lowest number of signatory states to the 1951 Refugee Convention and the majority of national protection systems are ad hoc and precarious. Asia Pacific thus displays some of the most severe violations of human rights for refugees and displaced persons.
WHY WE THINK THIS IS IMPORTANT
Advocacy conducted in silo is ineffective. APRRN facilitates cross-cultural collaboration and regional action of otherwise isolated human rights groups, galvanising and directing momentum to ensure the region is effectively, safely, and collaboratively demanding action and thereby advancing the socioeconomic inclusion and equitable human rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
APRRN works to build strong alliances and partnerships to advance refugee rights and address the needs of refugees and migrants, directly contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals; we facilitate the collaboration that is essential to policy change.
APRRN’s action is critical to ensure governments in the Asia Pacific implement refugee rights legislation, to prevent and end severe violations of fundamental human rights such as immigration detention, Rohingya persecution, and loss of life at sea. By working together as a regional network, our ability to hold national governments to account is magnified, and therefore we can achieve the greatest inclusive policy and legislative change to advance the equal rights of refugees and asylum seekers in the region.
WHAT APRRN IS DOING TO RESPOND
APRRN’s Secretariat is a trusted advisor and crucial resource; we deliver the essential toolkit to facilitate joint, comprehensive, and far-reaching refugee rights advocacy in the region, to ensure refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers have access to equitable assistance, socioeconomic inclusion, protection, and timely durable solutions. This includes:
1. Delivering capacity building on refugee rights and advocacy
2. Distributing emerging information and sharing best practices around refugee rights and advocacy across the Asia Pacific region
3. Convening forums and learning exchanges for members and non-members to facilitate essential discourse
4. Supporting and enabling collaborative advocacy action to advance refugee rights in the Asia Pacific region.
APRRN has a wealth of expertise and experience through our members. We believe in investing in our members and strengthening the capacity of advocates in the region to effectively respond to emerging protection challenges and build towards sustainable change. APRRN assesses the gaps and coordinates training sessions and workshops, creating spaces for mutual and complementary capacity strengthening amongst actors.
APRRN builds on the existing work of members, and aims to become a source as well as a conduit of information through improved knowledge and resource-sharing throughout the network. We strive to be enablers of valuable exchanges among members and actors in the region to increase the effectiveness of our advocacy individual and collective efforts for impactful policy changes to better refugee protection in this region.
APRRN is a collaborative movement that works to build strong alliances and partnerships to advance refugee rights and address the needs of refugees and other people in need of protection. APRRN members include human rights advocacy groups, research institutions, law firms providing pro-bono legal aid, and refugees themselves. Our goal is national and local ownership of refugee protection, harmonised within a regional framework that is consistent with international standards.
At the national level, APRRN aims to strengthen local civil society actors and encourages the formation of national networks. APRRN also aims to engage with a variety of other key stakeholders such as UNHCR, other UN agencies, donors and governments to effectively influence policy for better protection. To coordinate, plan and evaluate these advocacy strategies, APRRN holds sub-regional consultations, roundtables, and workshops throughout the year.