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Title: Refugees and Refugee Policy in Malaysia
Contributor(s): Kaur, Amarjit  (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: During the last three decades, Malaysia has increasingly relied on the employment of a cheaper and more readily available less-skilled foreign labour force from within the Asian region. Officially-regulated recruitment exchanges have been accompanied by unwanted irregular movements that include refugee flows provoked by political and economic instability within the region. Since migration is entwined with the matter of citizenship and the construal of rights to an individual by the government of a state, irregular movements have become a major domestic and international political issue in the region. This has resulted in evolving border control policies and more stringent immigration controls. Moreover, while less-skilled migrant workers have largely been reduced to a marginal and semi-marginal existence in the country, official policy towards irregular migrants and refugees has been tempered by issues of ethnicity and racism and has been both brutal and harsh. Apart from the Philippines and Cambodia, Malaysia and the other Southeast Asian states do not have legislation that provides for the granting of asylum or refugee status in accordance with the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol; nor have they established a system for providing protection to refugees. Malaysia does not provide protection against refoulement either but generally does not deport individuals recognised as persons of concern by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Nevertheless, while the government continues to cooperate with UNHCR and normally does not impede other humanitarian organisations from assisting refugees and asylum seekers, human rights concerns are not central to the politics and policies of the state's refugee policy. The future is thus bleak for refugees in Malaysia.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: UNEAC Asia Papers: Journal of the UNE Asia Centre, 12-19(Special Issue: Refugees and Refugee Policies in the Asia-Pacific Region), p. 77-90
Publisher: UNEAC: University of New England Asia Centre
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISSN: 1442-6420
Field of Research (FOR): 160303 Migration
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 940399 International Relations not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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