Monday, November 7, 2011

Refugee headcount

Monday November 7, 2011

PETALING JAYA: For the first time, Malaysia will join hands with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and register refugees and asylum-seekers to better protect them
The move, expected to commence in January, involves some 94,800 refugees and asylum-seekers.

“Having their biodata in the government database will ensure better protection for refugees especially against arrests and detentions,” said the UNHCR.

Other developments:
> Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay says the exercise is a “timely move”;

> Human rights activists welcome the move, saying Malaysia should also be a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention; and

> Bar Council says the decision is a step in the right direction but notes that more needs to be done.

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