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Refugee Council of Australia
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Home > Reports > Refugee Alternatives: Conference Report 2018

Refugee Alternatives: Conference Report 2018

Regional

Recommendations to regional government bodies, ASEAN, regional NGOs, regional networks.

Regional leadership

The Australian Government should show leadership in the Asia Pacific region. This encompasses:

  • Encouraging other states in the region to sign the Refugee Convention. If the goal in particular is to “stop the boats”, it is in Australia’s interest to protect refugees in our region.
  • Visits by MPs to refugees living in difficult situations in urban areas, camps and detention centres in the region to fully understand the impacts of their decisions.

International pressure

Australia can help drive solutions in the Asia Pacific region:

  • Governments in Australia’s region are receptive to international pressure because international reputation is important to them.
  • Positive domestic policies in the region have already been linked to international pressure, as was seen in the example of Malaysia.
  • There are opportunities for governments and bodies to put pressure on countries in the region and offer to ease the pressure on host countries in exchange for better refugee protection policies.
  • For instance, Australia could ask countries in the region to implement better protection in exchange for more resettlement places.

Protection

Australia should endeavour towards the following:

  • Working with other resettlement countries to resettle refugees from our region;
  • Providing funding for establishing infrastructure and protection for the large number of undocumented Rohingya and other refugees in the region.

Collaboration and information-sharing

Collaboration and information-sharing at a regional level is essential, and can be achieved through means such as:

  • Strengthening solidarity and cooperation amongst regional stakeholders that address statelessness;
  • Increasing knowledge among stakeholders;
  • Promoting practical solutions;
  • Using social media as a tool for collaborating, connecting and mapping.

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