Refugee Crises in Southeast Asia: The Malaysian Experience

Ahmad, Abdullahi Ayoade and Rahim, Zulkanain Abdul and Mohamed, Abdul Majid Hafiz (2016) Refugee Crises in Southeast Asia: The Malaysian Experience. In: 5th International Conference on Law and Society , 18 - 19 April 2016, Fatoni University, Pattani, Thailand. (Unpublished)

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In South East Asia the available protection space for refugees, asylum-seekers and stateless people is fragile and unpredictable. This is due to lack of national legal frameworks in most of these countries. In fact, some States introduced restrictive policies such as denying safe disembarkation or access at the airport, and narrowing protection space and access to asylum. There is also an increase in maritime push backs and instances of refoulement. Although, Malaysia is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, and lacks a legislative and administrative framework to address refugee matters that has created various challenges to its sovereignty for decades. As a result, all asylum-seekers and refugees are treated as irregular migrants and in the absence of any substantive engagement by the authorities, then UNHCR remains the last option that shoulder the burden of their international protection responsibilities. The current development of unsightly humanitarian problems washing up on its shores in Myanmar and Bangladesh had revealed new face off, and echoed serious concern for Malaysia, such as its impact on the lucrative western tourist trade. This concern runs deeper especially when it has already home to about 150,000 foreign migrants of which roughly 45,000 are Rohingya. Consequently, it also occurred at a difficult situation when the domestic economy faces tough challenges. The paper investigates the impact of refugees in Malaysia as a non-signatory party to the Refugee Convention 1951, how it has tackled various refugees’ issues. It further examines the mechanism in place to safeguard the rights of refugees, and how such initiation has been managed without contravene with its sovereignty integrity (Refugees in Malaysia, 2009).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Keywords: Refugees Crises, ASEAN, Malaysian Experiences, Refugees Convention, Foreign Immigrant, and Sovereignty integrity
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Faculty / Institute: Faculty of Law, Accountancy & International Relations
Depositing User: Dr Abdullahi Ayoade Ahmad
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2016 03:50
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 03:50

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