Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees

February 2019

Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees - 2019

On 22 October 2018, APSOR brought together 104 representatives from refugee-led organisations, networks and communities residing in 10 host countries in the Asia Pacific region to discuss and plan for greater refugee participation in policy- and decision-making. This was the first opportunity of its kind for refugee leaders in the Asia Pacific region to come together to share experiences, network and discuss how to strengthen refugee self-representation at all levels (locally, regionally and internationally).

The Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees followed on from discussions that took place in Geneva in June 2018 at the inaugural Global Summit of Refugees (GSOR). One of the key recommendations coming out of this Global Summit was for an “inclusive international platform for refugee participation and self-representation” to be established, “made up of a representative network of refugee community organizations, initiatives and change-makers from around the world”.2 In working towards the establishment of a representative international refugee-led advocacy network, a proposal was developed to hold regional-level discussions. The Asia Pacific region, through APSOR, was the first of these regional-level discussions.

Both Summits recognise that the inclusion of refugees in policy- and decision-making is important in acknowledging and facilitating refugee agency and self-determination. With personal experience in situations of displacement, refugees are well placed to offer practical and sustainable solutions. Refugees can be powerful agents of change, evidenced through their capacity to take charge of building local communities and filling gaps in services and assistance. These Summits also recognise that a major challenge in enabling refugee self-representation at an international level is the lack of opportunities for refugee representatives to come together and work collaboratively on areas of shared concern. This is particularly so in the Asia Pacific region, where many refugees reside in host countries where they have uncertain legal status, limited access to resources, and restrictions placed on mobility that mean travelling to international gatherings is not possible. For these reasons, the Summit trialed connecting people through video hubs to enable groups to connect from different host countries.

November 2021

Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees - 2021

The Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees 2021 prepared by the Asia Pacific Network of Refugees team. The report outlines the discussions, key recommendations, and outcomes from the Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees, held virtual on 9, 10 & 11 November 2021, with many individual refugees and country hubs participants connecting to the Summit from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Hong Kong & South Korea.

This report includes the topics of Agenda decided for APSOR-2021 to be discussed which include for 9th of November, why are we here? Who are we? What can we do? For 10th of November 2021. Ideas and Concerns / Goals and Priorities. And for 11th of November 2021 Moving forward. This document also included the summary of discussions and recommendations from refugee communities and forcibly displaced people in the region on how to overcome the burden and challenges refugees and forcibly displaced people are facing. These discussions and recommendations are relevant to shape the strategic thinking and actions of refugee-led organizations, network at different levels, and to other stakeholders who are willing to support the agencies, refugees and forcibly displaced people in policy and decision-making process. With the detail items mention below in table of content of this report.

Background

Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees 2021 brought together 220 refugees and forcibly displaced people from refugee-led initiatives, networks and communities residing in 10 host countries in the Asia Pacific region to discuss and plan for the future work of refugee-led initiatives in which area these RLIs need support to reduce the hardship of refugee and displaced people lives, also to discuss the involvement of more refugees in high level official meetings, policy – and decision-making. This was the second summit for refugees and forcibly displaced people across the Asia Pacific region to come together for sharing their experiences, building networks and discuss on how to strengthen the work of refugee-led initiatives at local, regional, and international levels.

The Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees followed on from discussions that took place in Geneva in June 2018 at the inaugural Global Summit of Refugees (GSOR). One of the key recommendations coming out of this Global Summit was for an “inclusive international platform for refugee participation and self-representation” to be established, “made up of a representative network of refugee community organizations, initiatives and change-makers from around the world”. In working towards the establishment of a representative international refugee-led advocacy network, a proposal was developed to hold regional level discussions. The Asia Pacific region, through APSOR, was the first of these regional -level discussions. Both Summits recognize that the inclusion of refugees in policy – and decision-making is important in acknowledging and facilitating refugee agency and self-determination. With personal experience in situations of displacement, refugees are well placed to offer practical and sustainable solutions. Refugees can be powerful agents of change, evidenced through their capacity to take charge of building local communities and filling gaps in services and assistance. These Summits also recognize that a major challenge in enabling refugee self-representation at an international level is the lack of opportunities for refugee representatives to come together and work collaboratively on areas of shared concern. This is particularly so in the Asia Pacific region, where many refugees reside in host countries where they have uncertain legal status, limited access to resources, and restrictions placed on mobility that mean travelling to international gatherings is not possible. For these reasons, the Summit trilled connecting people through video hubs to enable groups to connect from different host countries.

Objectives
  1. Facilitate the sharing of experiences and information about what is happening in refugee-led advocacy in different parts of the Asia Pacific region.
  2. Share information with the refugee and forcibly displaced community leaders on how to use our agency in relation the causes of our displacement in order to influence change.
  3. Plan for future collaboration at a regional level for refugee-led organisations, networks and advocates based in the Asia Pacific.
  4. Refugee Led Engagement in High Level Official Meeting.
  5. Mapping existing refugee-Led Initiatives
  6. Stakeholders Panel Discussion / Establishing Partnership for Change.

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Asia Pacific Network of Refugees (APNOR) is the only region-wide refugee-led network of refugee-led initiatives in the Asia Pacific region that is working with and for refugees. APNOR was established in 2018, on the recommendation of Asia Pacific Summit of Refugees (APSOR).

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