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2015 UNHCR subregional operations profile - East Asia and the Pacific

| Overview |

UNHCR 2015 East Asia and the Pacific subregional operations map

Mixed flows of urban asylum-seekers and migrants from South-West Asia, the Middle East and Africa continue to be the main protection feature in the subregion.

The central challenge for UNHCR is to assist States in shaping responses that balance concerns for border and migration control with the protection of asylum-seekers' rights.

The organization is pursuing dialogue with all relevant actors to foster regional cooperation rather than unilateral deterrence measures, and avoid people of concern being rejected at the border; to seek alternatives to the detention of asylum-seekers; and to discourage the development of restrictive asylum policies.

In Australia, restrictive policy changes introduced previously were further reinforced by the coalition Government elected in September 2013. The introduction of (regional) offshore processing in Papua New Guinea and Nauru in 2012, with no prospect of durable settlement in Australia, was combined with 'Operation Sovereign Borders' to implement the Government's policy of intercepting and returning boats to Indonesia.

The new Government reduced the humanitarian programme from 20,000 resettlement places in the fiscal year 2012-2013 to 13,750 places in 2014-2015, of which 6,000 are expected to be available for UNHCR-referred refugees. In September 2014, Australia and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding for the relocation of recognized refugees from Nauru to Cambodia.

In New Zealand, the overall climate for refugee protection remained positive, with a modest but well-managed resettlement programme and consistent financial support. However, legislation to deter boat arrivals came into force in 2013.

In Papua New Guinea, there have been positive steps toward integrating West Papuan refugees, including the announcement that the citizenship fee will be waived. A clearer legal basis for refugee protection is also being drafted in a new migration act. The Government is taking steps to lift its seven reservations to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Pacific Island Countries are strengthening collaboration around border management and are gradually accommodating refugee protection into laws, policies and activities, while UNHCR continues to process the small number of asylum-seekers who move into the region. The organization will monitor policy and practice regarding detention in Australia and at the processing centres of Nauru and Papua New Guinea, and advocate for the application of international standards to the treatment of people of concern.

China is becoming a transit and destination country for mixed migration as a result of its geographical and economic importance. The operational environments in mainland China, and the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SARs) continue to be at variance.

In mainland China, following the adoption of the Exit-Entry Administration Law in 2013,UNHCR will advocate that the Chinese authorities assume full responsibility for registration, refugee status determination (RSD) and durable solutions, in line with international standards.

In Hong Kong SAR, China, a unified screening mechanism (USM) to assess claims for protection against refoulement before executing removal orders became operational in March. As a result, UNHCR has ceased its asylum-screening procedures and refocused on providing the authorities with capacity-building assistance and closely monitoring USM implementation.

Macao SAR, China, is implementing refugee legislation through a refugees' commission, in consultation with UNHCR.

In Japan, the Ministry of Justice has established a sub-committee to review the country's asylum system, which is expected to introduce measures to improve the system's fairness and efficiency. UNHCR provides technical advice to the committee and will participate in drawing up the final recommendations. Following completion of a pilot phase, the Government has decided to start a formal resettlement programme in 2015.

Through public information and protection advocacy, UNHCR will pursue strong partnerships and support among decision-makers, non-governmental agencies and the public, to enhance international protection in Japan.

The asylum system in the Republic of Korea is relatively recent. UNHCR is thus helping to build national capacity with executive, judiciary and legislative bodies, as well as with the public and civil society organizations.

The Republic of Korea has recently expressed its willingness to become a resettlement country, a welcome development.

| Response and implementation |

In Australia and New Zealand, UNHCR will monitor decision-making processes, and use diplomatic and public advocacy to focus on preserving the non-discriminatory implementation of asylum, irrespective of how asylum-seekers arrive. The aims are to improve admission to RSD procedures, pursue alternatives to detention and expand the search for durable solutions.

UNHCR will support government efforts towards fair and efficient RSD procedures and consistency in decision-making at different instances.

The Office will monitor the implementation of bilateral arrangements between Australia and Papua New Guinea, and between Australia and Nauru, as well as the memorandum of understanding between Australia and Cambodia.

UNHCR will work to promote further public awareness of asylum and refugee protection issues in Australia and New Zealand, notably greater tolerance and understanding of the dynamics of forced population movements, including by sea.

In Papua New Guinea, UNHCR will facilitate durable solutions for West Papuan refugees, especially local integration, and will support the capacity of government and NGO partners to provide effective protection and assistance to non-Melanesian asylum-seekers and refugees.

Meanwhile States in the Pacific Island Countries, will receive UNHCR support to introduce protection safeguards in immigration procedures and establish and/ or reinforce RSD capacity through training.

In China, UNHCR will continue to balance the direct delivery of protection and assistance services to asylum-seekers and refugees with a move to providing greater advocacy and technical support for central and provincial authorities. The aim is to gradually capacitate the latter to take over responsibility for registration, asylum processing and the realization of durable solutions for those needing international protection.

Together with the Government, the Office will ensure that administrative structures and regulations for the new Exit-Entry Administration Law are in place. In the meantime, UNHCR will continue conducting RSD and providing legal counselling and social and material assistance to the most vulnerable refugees, until durable solutions are identified.

In Hong Kong SAR, China, UNHCR will monitor the unified screening mechanism, provide technical support to the authorities and help find durable solutions. Public awareness will accompany successful fund raising activities.

In Japan, UNHCR's refugee protection activities will support the authorities in refocusing their reception, RSD and local integration mechanisms, including by following up on the recommendations of the sub-committee on asylum.

The organization will undertake a range of awareness-raising activities, including public events such as the Refugee Film Festival with Japan for UNHCR, and external partners. UNHCR will strengthen its strategic partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency.

In the Republic of Korea, the Office will advocate better access to the asylum system and social services for approximately 6,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. UNHCR will also support the Government's efforts to prepare for a resettlement programme.

The organization will target potential private donors with innovative campaigns, and intensify its contacts with the Korean business community to generate corporate-sector funding.

| Financial information |

In 2015, the overall financial requirements for the East Asia and the Pacific subregion have been set at USD 12.6 million.

In the Pacific, UNHCR has maintained a very modest budget despite the significant protection challenges the organization continues to face in the region.

In mainland China, more direct delivery of protection and assistance to an increasing population of urban refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as increased capacity-building activities, have resulted in higher financial requirements for 2015.

In Japan and the Republic of Korea, financial requirements will remain stable.

UNHCR 2015 budgets for East Asia and the Pacific (USD)
Operation 2014
Revised budget
(as of 30 June 2014)
2015
Refugee
programme
PILLAR 1
Stateless
programme
PILLAR 2
Total
Total 13,786,402 12,204,212 425,746 12,629,958
1. Includes activities in New Zealand, the Pacific Island countries and Papua New Guinea.
Australia Regional Office[1] 2,631,314 1,976,523 0 1,976,523
China 4,734,380 3,951,597 188,448 4,140,045
Japan 4,010,561 3,748,439 68,584 3,817,023
Republic of Korea 2,110,146 1,993,552 168,714 2,162,266
Regional activities 300,000 534,101 0 534,101

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update


UNHCR contact information

The UNHCR Representative for Australia
Style of Address The UNHCR Representative for Australia
Street Address 3 Lyons Place, Lyons, 2606 Canberra, ACT, Australia
Mailing Address 3 Lyons Place, Lyons, 2606 Canberra, ACT, Australia
Telephone 61 2 6260 3411
Facsimile 61 2 6260 3477
Website http://www.unhcr.org.au
Email aulca@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 11
Working Hours
Monday:8:45 - 17:00
Tuesday:8:45 - 17:00
Wednesday:8:45 - 17:00
Thursday:8:45 - 17:00
Friday:8:45 - 17:00
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
27 January 2014, Australia Day (in lieu)
18 April 2014, Good Friday
21 April 2014, Easter Monday
25 April 2014, ANZAC Day
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
29 September 2014, Family and Community Day
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha (in lieu)
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
26 December 2014, Boxing Day
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Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Australia [1]
Refugees [2] 34,503
Asylum Seekers [3] 13,559
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 48,062
Originating from Australia [1]
Refugees [2] 28
Asylum Seekers [3] 12
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 40
Government Contributions to UNHCR
2013 Contributions Breakdown
Total contribution in USD: 57,522,352 [rank: 12]
Total contribution in currency: 46,498,799 (AUD); 10,521,231 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 19,628,099 [rank: 7]
Donor ranking per GDP: 18
Donor ranking per capita: 14
2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2000
YearUSD
2014
More info48,200,780
As at 8 December 2014
2013
More info57,522,352
Total contribution in USD: 57,522,352 [rank: 12]
Total contribution in currency: 46,498,799 (AUD); 10,521,231 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 19,628,099 [rank: 7]
Donor ranking per GDP: 18
Donor ranking per capita: 14
2012
More info48,644,473
Total contribution in USD: 48,644,473 [rank: 11]
Total contribution in currency: 44,295,542 (AUD); 3,273,742 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 18,036,072 [rank: 7]
Donor ranking per GDP: 16
Donor ranking per capita: 12
2011
More info56,537,400
Total contribution in USD: 56,537,400 [rank: 9]
Total contribution in currency: 50,340,390 AUD; 3,474,883 USD
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 16,227,181 [rank: 7]
Donor ranking per GDP: 14
Donor ranking per capita: 10
2010
More info45,104,443
Total contribution in USD: 45,104,443 (rank: 11)
Total contribution in currency: 47,764,700 AUD; 2,633,671 USD
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 12,859,712 (rank: 9)
Donor ranking per GDP: 12
Donor ranking per capita: 11
2009
More info32,873,505
Total contribution in USD: 32,873,505 (rank: 12)
Total contribution in currency: 40,024,410 AUD; 33,998,976 USD
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 9,761,415 (rank: 13)
Donor ranking per GDP: 15
Donor ranking per capita: 14
2008
More info28,229,902
Total contribution in USD: 28,229,902 (rank: 13)
Total contribution in currency: 30,602,059 (AUD); 328,440 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 7,377,778 (rank: 14)
Donor ranking per GDP: 16
Donor ranking per capita: 13
2007
More info16,689,110
Total contribution in USD: 16,689,110 (rank: 17)
Total contribution in currency: 20,670,267 (AUD); 426,552 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 5,826,772 (rank: 12)
Donor ranking per GDP: 20
Donor ranking per capita: 18
2006
More info13,483,764
Total contribution in USD: 13,483,764 [1] (rank: 18)
Total contribution in currency: 17,043,940 (AUD); 613,773 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 5,328,467 (rank: 11)
Donor ranking per GDP: 16
Donor ranking per capita: 14
[1] In addition, USD 38,168 from the State Government of Victoria is included in the contribution through Australia for UNHCR.
2005
More info13,276,439
USD 13,276,439 of which USD 5,654,531 (43%) was unrestricted, USD 1,639,639 (12%) earmarked at the country level and USD 5,982,269 (45%) earmarked at the sectoral / thematic level.
2004
More info13,618,383
USD 13,618,383 of which USD 5,526,332 (41%) was unrestricted, USD 501,732 (3%) earmarked at the country level and USD 7,590,320 (56%) earmarked at the sectoral / thematic level.
2003
More info10,468,020
USD 10,468,020 of which USD 4,101,124 (40%) was unrestricted, USD 1,515,152 (14%) earmarked at the regional level, USD 1,902,249 (18%) earmarked at the subregional level, USD 2,727,273 (26%) earmarked at the country level, USD 222,222 (2%) earmarked at the sectoral level.
2002
More info13,763,992
USD 13,763,992 of which USD 7,295,918 unrestricted (53%), USD 5,652,911 earmarked at the sub-regional level (40%), USD 84,794 earmarked at the country level (1%), USD 730,369 earmarked at the sectoral level (6%).
2001
More info11,935,759
USD 11,935,759 of which 7,526,316 (63%) unrestricted and 4,409,443 (37%) earmarked.
2000
More info11,218,273
USD 11,218,273 of which 9,084,967 (81%) unrestricted and 2,133,306 (19%) earmarked.
Private Sector Contributions to UNHCR
Private sector fund raising 2013

Total contribution in USD: 18,870,383
Total contribution in currency: 19,276,917 (AUD); 635,000 (USD)
Major donorsUSD
Australia for UNHCR18,234,053
RedR635,000

2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2006
YearUSD
2014
More info17,349,055
As at 8 December 2014
2013
More info18,870,383

Total contribution in USD: 18,870,383
Total contribution in currency: 19,276,917 (AUD); 635,000 (USD)
Major donorsUSD
Australia for UNHCR18,234,053
RedR635,000
2012
More info14,523,126

Total contribution in USD: 14,523,126
Total contribution in currency: 13,645,548 (AUD); 285,000 (USD)
Major donorsUSD
Australia for UNHCR14,230,310
Others
RedR285,000
2011
More info13,612,115

Total contribution in USD: 13,612,115
Total contribution in currency: 1,336 (USD); 13,078,139 (AUD)
Major donorsUSD
Corrs Chambers Westgarth and employees85,364
Pace Foundation64,990
The Story Street Fund51,760
The Jani Haenke Charitable Trust51,073
2010
More info 7,435,041

Total contribution in USD: 7,435,041
Total contribution in currency: 5,783,511 AUD
Major donorsUSD
PricewaterhouseCoopers - Australia301,176
Pace Foundation82,150
Corrs Chambers Westgarth52,032
2009 5,019,927
2008 4,069,136
2007 2,766,975
2006 1,137,332

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