Update on UNHCR’s operations in Asia and the Pacific

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 21 Sep 2012 View Original

Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme

Sixty-third session

Geneva, 1-5 October 2012

Update on UNHCR’s operations in Asia and the Pacific

A. Situational analysis including new developments

The Asia-Pacific region is home to the world’s largest and oldest refugee populations. The protection environment continues to be fragile with very few countries having signed the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Asia remains, however, a region with a good record of providing asylum to large numbers of refugees.

The region is characterized by population movements, with asylum-seekers from Afghanistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka representing the three largest groups moving irregularly. The majority of these individuals settle in urban areas.

UNHCR, in close collaboration with concerned States, has made progress in addressing protracted refugee situations and mixed migration flows. There is an increasing willingness on the part of States within the region to address the stagnation of long-standing refugee situations in a more comprehensive way, working towards the preservation and expansion of asylum space and longer-term solutions. There is also a greater recognition among States that in addressing irregular movements, law enforcement and border control measures must be complemented by cooperative and regional approaches that respond to the humanitarian and protection needs of asylum-seekers and refugees.