Operation: Opération: Malaysia



Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

Key Figures

2017 planning figures
22,000 eligible people will be registered and provided with identity cards issued by UNHCR
10,000 refugees estimated to depart for resettlement in third countries
6,949 registered children will be enrolled in primary education
3,300 people of concern will be provided with information on comprehensive solutions, including resettlement
2,000 people will be released from detention through various intervention modalities 
2015 end-year results
22,032 people of concern were registered
1,241 refugee status determination (RSD) cases were adjudicated
7,147 individuals were submitted for resettlement
9,653 persons of concern were released from immigration detention
792 extremely vulnerable individuals received financial assistance
2,069 people were assisted through livelihoods interventions
295 individuals continued to receive access to HIV/AIDS treatment
32,000 medical consultations were provided
18,000 people of concern were covered under the health insurance scheme

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2015 246,270
2014 270,621
2013 260,552


[["Refugees",94030],["Refugee-like situation",136],["Asylum-seekers",60415],["Stateless",11689],["Others of concern",80000]]
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2015 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[16.56227192,17.57417343,20.14792774,18.700609605,19.8485224,18.52558777],"expenditure":[8.3680038,9.56685456,9.27775765,9.22236626,null,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[16.05188795,17.0108112,18.91642575,17.462795085,18.87547322,18.00827372],"p2":[0.51038397,0.56336223,1.23150199,1.23781452,0.97304918,0.51731405],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[8.32606864,9.53511392,8.89931743,8.40919325,null,null],"p2":[0.04193516,0.03174064,0.37844022,0.81317301,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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Year-end Overview

Plan Overview

Working environment

Malaysia is neither a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention nor its 1967 Protocol, and lacks a legal framework for managing refugees. Malaysia is not party to the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Convention. UNHCR conducts all activities related to the registration, documentation, and status determination of refugees.

Refugees are considered as illegal immigrants, and are at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation. They lack access to legal employment, and work in the informal labour sector where they are at risk of exploitation. Refugees can access healthcare services, but this remains unaffordable to many. Refugees are unable to access formal education. 

93 per cent of refugees are from Myanmar and therefore repatriation opportunities will depend largely on internal developments there. UNHCR will focus on a transitional work-based scheme for former refugees, and on voluntary return for those willing and able to do so. The refugees from northern Rakhine State remain a group with high protection needs, especially in accessing basic services and livelihood opportunities.

In the absence of Government involvement in refugee protection, UNHCR remains the main provider of support for refugees, and thus limitations in the financial and other resources it receives will directly impact its ability to deliver refugee protection. UNHCR’s strategy of engaging new partnerships and strengthening community-based protection is critical in ensuring a greater role of refugees, the Government, private sector, and civil society in addressing basic protection and assistance needs.

Key priorities

In 2017 UNHCR’s operation in Malaysia will focus on:

•    community–based protection; 
•    building resilience of refugee communities, particularly in self-reliance and livelihoods; 
•    ensuring processing is prioritised for highly vulnerable individuals and groups 
•    continuing efforts in areas of detention monitoring and releases, advocating for alternatives to detention; 
•    capacity building of law enforcement officials and institutions; 
•    addressing the protection needs of vulnerable individuals, enhancing sustainability of basic service interventions including in health and education.