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Susan Kneebone, Faculty of Law, Monash University.

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1 Susan Kneebone, Faculty of Law, Monash University

2  The situation of Refugee Protection in Southeast Asia  Three Actors and their Norms: ◦ Bali Process ◦ ASEAN and ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) ◦ Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation (AACLO) and the ‘Bangkok Principles on the Status and Treatment of Refugees’ 2001  Conclusions

3  See ‘The Bali Process and Global Refugee Policy in the Asia-Pacific Region’ Special Edition of the Journal of Refugee Studies on Global Refugee Policy, 2014;  ‘ASEAN and the Conceptualisation of Refugee protection’ in Abass A. and Ippolito, F., et al eds., Regional Approaches to the Protection of Asylum Seekers: An International Legal Perspective (Ashgate 2014) Chapter 13, pp295-324

4  UNHCR: ‘geopolitics and national security issues prevail over humanitarian considerations’ (UNHCR 2012).  The protection environment is fragile; very few countries in the region have acceded to the 1951 Refugee Convention. (UNHCR 2011)  Protracted and ‘mass-influx’ situations, extra-regional \ urban refugees, high levels of statelessness  ‘the last frontier’ of regional cooperation’


6 The CPA The 1993 Bangkok Declaration  Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indo- Chinese refugees 1989 (CPA) ◦ ASEAN countries provided ‘first’ \ temporary asylum ◦ In exchange for third country resettlement  A global North solution for the global South?  Vienna World Conference on Human Rights  Rights of refugees and displaced persons, collectively known as ‘vulnerable’ persons  Linked to inequalities in development between the global North and the global South

7  Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime [2002]   Regional Consultative Processes (RCPs) on irregular migration dating from 1996  1999 Bangkok Declaration on Irregular Migration

8  A securitised discourse on ‘irregular migration’ \ secondary movements  State led, excludes civil society representation  Reflects Australia’s national policy on asylum seekers: eg the Malaysia-Swap agreement 2011  Limited actors and a narrow discourse which reflects a hierarchical agenda-setting process or ‘steering mode’  Limited application of International Refugee Protection (IRP) norms … asylum and burden-sharing  But note recent initiatives of Indonesia and UNHCR outside the Process

9  Article 35 of the ASEAN Charter :  ‘ASEAN shall promote its common ASEAN identity and a sense of belonging among its peoples in order to achieve its shared destiny, goals and values’  ASEAN Political-Security Community (‘APSC’)  ASEAN Economic Community (‘AEC’)  ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (‘ASCC’).


11  Creation of ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (‘AICHR’) – a work in progress  Refugee issues situated within the APSC  Which covers ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ security or ‘transboundary challenges’ ◦ The meaning of ‘traditional’ – direct threats ◦ The meaning of ‘non-traditional’ – indirect threats eg the environment, development gaps  Refugees associated with ‘post-conflict peace building’  But parallel discourse focussed on development and ‘human security’

12  Article 2:  2. Every person is entitled to the rights and freedoms set forth herein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, gender, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic status, birth, disability or other status.  Article 35: the right to development  Article 22: the right ‘to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’.  Article 15: right ‘to freedom of movement..’  Article 16: the right to seek and receive asylum in another State in accordance with the laws of such State and applicable international agreements

13  Outcome of the Asian African or ‘1955 Bandung Conference’ held in Indonesia  Bangkok Principles 1966 \ reaffirmed 2001  Contain the ‘expanded’ definition of the OAU Convention 1974  And strong statements re burden sharing  Principles of refugee protection given a regional normative basis?  UNHCR’s ‘humanitarian’ role within this mechanism …

14  SEA \ ASEAN:  Refugees a ‘Northern’ and securitised concept  State-led processes  UNHCR’s mediating role between states and civil society  Seen as promoting ‘humanitarian’ outcomes rather than human rights

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