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|2020 planning figures|
|98%||of asylum-seekers will be registered on individual basis|
|80%||of SGBV survivors will receive case management and appropriate support through a referral pathway|
|60,000||refugees and asylum-seekers will receive work permits|
|14,000||children aged 3 to 17 years old will be enrolled in education|
|7,500||refugee status determination decisions will be issued|
|3,000||refugees and asylum-seekers will be released from immigration detention|
|2018 year-end results|
|46,910||UNHCR identity cards were issued|
|23,760||new registrations were carried out|
|21,600||refugee status determination decisions issued|
|2,410||refugees departed for resettlement|
|145||refugees voluntarily repatriated|
People of Concern
Working environmentMalaysia hosts an urban population of some 177,000 UNHCR-registered asylum-seekers and refugees, in addition to an estimated 10,000 stateless persons. There is a much larger undocumented migrant population in Malaysia, estimated at between 2 to 4 million people. Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions.
In this mixed migration environment, there is presently no distinction under domestic law between asylum-seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants. The absence of a national policy for refugees and asylum-seekers precludes their legal residence, access to legal employment, affordable health care, and, certified and accredited education as well as other public services. Despite ad hoc arrangements to protect refugees and asylum-seekers, they remain at risk of arrest, prosecution, prolonged detention and refoulement.
UNHCR has historically been responsible for all activities related to the registration, documentation, status determination and solutions for refugees and asylum-seekers in Malaysia. UNHCR and the Malaysian Government have embarked on discussions to develop a more comprehensive policy for refugees and asylum-seekers based on the 2018 election manifesto of the present Government, which includes a promise to regularize people with UNHCR cards allowing them with access to work at par with locals.
UNHCR will further grow its engagement with a network of private sector partners including international corporations based in Malaysia, national companies and banks to leverage their interest and social corporate responsibility programmes in refugee employment, empowerment and self-reliance; this will further grow in 2020.
UNHCR is seeking the inclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers into the Twelth Malaysia’s Plan 2021-2025, to ensure that a future refugee policy is appropriately planned and budgeted for in line with the principle of leaving no one behind under the Sustainable Development Goals.
Key prioritiesUNHCR’s response in Malaysia is steered by the following three objectives: achieve a government policy for the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers; maximise protection and the benefit of a new policy for refugees and asylum-seekers through strategic engagement with partners, government and communities; empower women, girls and youth.
In 2020, UNHCR will:
- Continue close collaboration with the Malaysian government in formulating an immediate policy for the protection of refugees with a view to developing a comprehensive legal refugee framework over time.
- Achieve affordable health care and health insurance for refugees;
- Increase enrollment and achieve access to certified and accredited education for children and youth.
- Enhance outreach services to ensure effective information sharing and strengthen community-led protection initiatives.
- Target interventions for women, girls and youth to support access to quality education, technical skills and vocational training as well as participation and effective protection.
- Implement a comprehensive solutions strategy;
- Advance the resolution of the situation of stateless persons including through the streamlining of policies and practices.