South East Asia
Operational information on the South-East Asia subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format. This subregion covers the following countries:
Latest update of camps and office locations 21 Nov 2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.
Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion South East Asia
People of Concern - 2016[["Refugees",187813],["Refugee-like situation",295405],["Asylum-seekers",68291],["IDPs",462434],["Returned IDPs",256972],["Returned refugees",74],["Stateless",1460771],["Others of concern",80332]]
Response in 2016In 2016 South-East Asia hosted a total of 2.8 million people of concern, including over 483,000 refugees, 68,000 asylum-seekers, 462,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), and over 1.4 million stateless people. The main countries of origin of refugees and asylum-seekers were Myanmar (over 514,000), Afghanistan (8,100), Pakistan (8,000), Sri Lanka (3,700), and Somalia (3,400). The Rohingya were particularly vulnerable due to restricted access to education, healthcare, and livelihoods. They are stateless and internally displaced in Myanmar or refugees in Bangladesh and Malaysia.
UNHCR continued to deepen its engagement with key regional institutions, notably the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and related Transnational Crime (Bali Process), and the Regional Support Office of the Bali Process. In March 2016, the Bali Process adopted a Ministerial Declaration pledging a comprehensive regional approach to managing mixed migration flows, the first-ever such declaration in its 14-year history, and in November 2016 it established a Task Force on Planning and Preparedness, of which UNHCR is a key participant.
UNHCR maintained a strong focus on resolving and preventing statelessness, with good incremental progress in many operations in South-East Asia. Within the context of its promotion of registration and documentation for all people of concern, UNHCR has taken a leading role in the promotion of birth registration for all, building on the regional Ministerial Declaration in November 2014.
UNHCR is building on important developments in the subregion, including, the issuance in January 2017 of a Cabinet Decree in Thailand to establish a refugee screening mechanism, and the establishment of a joint government-UNHCR task force on refugees in Malaysia as well as a pilot work scheme for Rohingya refugees.
OperationsOperations in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand are presented in separate country pages.
The main achievements in the region in 2016 included the following:
- Interventions to prevent refoulement in Mongolia as well as improved collaboration with authorities;
- Finalization of a regional judicial engagement strategy; increased coordination with partners (ICRC, UNICEF, IOM, and the International Detention Coalition) on detention-related issues;
- Support to country operations on efficient case processing through the use of enhanced registration and simplified refugee status determination (RSD), including technical and capacity-building support to Cambodian RSD authorities;
- A study tour to the Philippines by immigration officials from Mongolia and Timor-Leste, issuance of quarterly analysis on urban case processing to improve awareness of trends and approaches in the region;
- Harmonization of urban case processing approaches through regional case processing meetings;
- A regional meeting with UN partners on solutions for the Myanmar situation; implementation of a regional solutions policy, including a resettlement approach based on individual case referrals; coordination of the first group of facilitated voluntary returns from Thailand to Myanmar;
- Accompaniment of voluntary returnees to Viet Nam as well as monitoring missions to the central highlands;
- Support to UNHCR Bangladesh in its effort to respond to the influx of new refugees from northern Rakhine state, Myanmar.
- In Southern Mindanao in the Philippines, 4,112 People of Indonesian Descent, including 1,736 children, were confirmed as Filipino, Indonesian, or dual nationals.
- Opportunities to promote nationality law reform to better prevent and reduce statelessness crystalized in Viet Nam with UNHCR’s support of the first step in the Ministry of Justice’s review of the nationality law and building government capacity to support the implementation of a bilateral agreement with Lao PDR that will resolve the situation of people of undetermined nationality living in border areas.
- Cambodia approached UNHCR for technical support to develop a new Civil Registration and Vital Statistics and ID management law.
|752||Number of personnel (international and national)|
|17||Number of offices|
|140.5 million||Overall funding requirements in USD (ExCom-approved 2016 budget)
Operational Environment and Strategy
The protection space in the subregion varies considerably from one country to another. Three States in the subregion (Cambodia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste) are parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and one State (the Philippines) is a party to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.
In 2016, UNHCR's protection strategies in South-East Asia will focus on the establishment of protection-sensitive responses to mixed movements, including improving access to asylum and promoting alternatives to detention. Where conditions allow, traditional durable solutions will be pursued alongside labour options and temporary stay arrangements. UNHCR is also working at the regional level with governments and partners to put systems in place for rescue at sea and safe and predictable disembarkation.
In its efforts to address and prevent statelessness, UNHCR will continue its engagement with regional bodies and initiatives, including efforts to improve rates of civil registration.
In addition, UNHCR will work to strengthen its engagement with two important regional mechanisms: the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process).
Response and Implementation
Operations in Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand are presented in separate country chapters. For other countries where UNHCR operates in the subregion, please see below.
In Bangladesh, UNHCR is pursuing activities set out in its joint Proposals for Action, with UNODC and IOM, in response to mixed movements in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The Office will continue to protect and assist the registered refugee population, and will also endeavour to increase support to the large numbers of undocumented people from Myanmar in Bangladesh.
In Cambodia and Timor-Leste, UNHCR will continue to assist the Governments in managing and their national asylum systems, including by supporting status determination processes.
In Indonesia, UNHCR will continue to undertake registration and refugee status determination. The Office will also continue to advocate for improved access to asylum, appropriate treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers, with a focus on the protection of children, and alternatives to detention.
In Mongolia, UNHCR will continue to undertake mandate refugee status determination and pursue durable solutions for people of concern.
In the Philippines, UNHCR will concentrate its efforts on core mandate activities for refugees and stateless people by supporting the Government, which has demonstrated strong leadership in both areas.
With 40 per cent of the world’s documented stateless persons living in Asia and the Pacific, UNHCR will further step up its efforts to identify stateless people and reduce statelessness. National strategies will be implemented in priority countries, including Bangladesh, the Philippines and Viet Nam.
2016 Budget and Expenditure in South East Asia | USD
|Thailand Regional Office||Budget|
2016 Voluntary Contributions to South East Asia | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Pillar 1
|South East Asia overall|
|Private donors in Singapore||14,612||0||0||0||14,612|
|United States of America||0||0||0||23,594,400||23,594,400|
|South East Asia overall subtotal||14,612||0||0||23,594,400||23,609,012|
|Private donors in Japan||83,625||0||0||0||83,625|
|Private donors in the Netherlands||843,198||0||0||0||843,198|
|Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||50,000||0||0||0||50,000|
|United States of America||464,133||0||0||0||464,133|
|PRIV DONORS INDONESIA||95,300||0||0||0||95,300|
|Private donors in Japan||578,572||0||0||0||578,572|
|Private donors in Qatar||692,896||0||0||0||692,896|
|Private donors in Singapore||1,720||0||0||0||1,720|
|Private donors in the United Arab Emirates||88,000||0||0||0||88,000|
|United States of America||535,811||0||0||0||535,811|
|Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan||0||0||999,465||0||999,465|
|Private donors in Germany||0||0||0||326,945||326,945|
|Private donors in Italy||0||0||0||11||11|
|Private donors in Japan||0||0||74,623||0||74,623|
|Private donors in Myanmar||0||0||2,308||0||2,308|
|Private donors in the United States of America||0||0||25||0||25|
|Private donors in Canada||0||0||7,161||0||7,161|
|Private donors in Thailand||3,599,007||0||0||0||3,599,007|
|Thailand Regional Office|
|Thailand Regional Office subtotal||0||0||0||124,548||124,548|