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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 Representation in the Republic of Korea
Style of Address The UNHCR Representative in the Republic of Korea
Street Address 7F, Kumsegi Bldg.,, 16, Euljiro 1 Ga,, Joong-ku,, 100191 Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Mailing Address 7F, Kumsegi Bldg.,, 16, Euljiro 1 Ga,, Joong-ku, 100191 Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Telephone 82 2 773 7011
Facsimile 82 2 773 7014
Website http://www.unhcr.or.kr
Email korse@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 9
Working Hours
Monday:9:00 - 18:00
Tuesday:9:00 - 18:00
Wednesday:9:00 - 18:00
Thursday:9:00 - 18:00
Friday:9:00 - 18:00
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
31 January 2014, Lunar New Year
05 May 2014, Children's day
06 June 2014, Memorail Day
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
15 August 2014, Liberation Day
08 September 2014, Chuseok
09 September 2014, Chuseok
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
25 December 2014, Christmas 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 Republic of Korea [1]
Refugees [2] 547
Asylum Seekers [3] 2,397
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 194
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 3,138
Originating from Republic of Korea [1]
Refugees [2] 500
Asylum Seekers [3] 216
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 716
Government Contributions to UNHCR
2013 Contributions Breakdown
Total contribution in USD: 5,946,689 [rank: 24]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 2,732,357 [rank: 16]
Donor ranking per GDP: 34
Donor ranking per capita: 32
2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2000
YearUSD
2014
More info14,270,460
As at 8 December 2014
2013
More info 5,946,689
Total contribution in USD: 5,946,689 [rank: 24]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 2,732,357 [rank: 16]
Donor ranking per GDP: 34
Donor ranking per capita: 32
2012
More info 5,144,748
Total contribution in USD: 5,144,748 [rank: 22]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 2,800,000 [rank: 16]
Donor ranking per GDP: 37
Donor ranking per capita: 32
2011
More info 4,696,905
Total contribution in USD: 4,696,905 [rank: 21]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 2,500,000 [rank: 17]
Donor ranking per GDP: 28
Donor ranking per capita: 29
2010
More info 3,000,000
Total contribution in USD: 3,000,000 (rank: 25)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 2,500,000 (rank: 16)
Donor ranking per GDP: 32
Donor ranking per capita: 32
2009
More info 3,228,221
Total contribution in USD: 3,228,221 (rank: 24)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 2,500,000 (rank: 16)
Donor ranking per GDP: 34
Donor ranking per capita: 34
2008
More info 3,016,519
Total contribution in USD: 3,016,519 (rank: 22)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 2,300,000 (rank: 17)
Donor ranking per GDP: 33
Donor ranking per capita: 32
2007
More info 2,198,037
Total contribution in USD: 2,198,037 (rank: 25)
Total contribution in currency: 2,195,803 (USD); 2,068,640 (KRW)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 2,000,000 (rank: 16)
Donor ranking per GDP: 37
Donor ranking per capita: 31
2006
More info 1,621,261
Total contribution in USD: 1,621,261 (rank: 33)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 1,500,000 (rank: 18)
Donor ranking per GDP: 30
Donor ranking per capita: 29
2005
More info 1,150,000
USD 1,150,000 [1] of which USD 1,100,000 (96%) unrestricted and USD 50,000 (4%) earmarked at the country level.
[1] This amount does not include USD 990,000 that the Republic of Korea contributed to UNHCR's programme in northern Iraq through the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund for 2006.
2004
More info 1,598,680
USD 1,598,680 of which USD 1,500,000 (94%) was unrestricted and USD 98,680 (6%) earmarked at the sectoral / thematic level.
2003
More info 2,780,060
USD 2,780,060 of which USD 1,100,000 (40%) was unrestricted, USD 1,460,629 (52%) earmarked at the subregional level and USD 219,431 (8%) earmarked at the sectoral level.
2002
More info 1,967,218
USD 1,967,218 of which USD 1,100,000 unrestricted (56%), USD 662,962 earmarked at the sub-regional level (34%) and USD 204,256 earmarked at the sectoral level (10%).
2001
More info 1,709,633
USD 1,709,633 of which 1,100,930 (64%) unrestricted and 608,703 (36%) earmarked.
2000
More info 1,100,000
USD 1,100,000 of which 1,000,000 (90%) unrestricted and 100,000 (10%) earmarked.
Private Sector Contributions to UNHCR
Private sector fund raising 2013

Total contribution in USD: 5,363,590
Total contribution in currency: 5,886,030,630 (KRW)
2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2006
YearUSD
2014
More info 9,498,548
As at 8 December 2014
2013
More info 5,363,590

Total contribution in USD: 5,363,590
Total contribution in currency: 5,886,030,630 (KRW)
2012
More info 2,629,245

Total contribution in USD: 2,629,245
Total contribution in currency: 2,943,617,923 (KRW)
2011
More info 1,329,357

Total contribution in USD: 1,329,357
Total contribution in currency: 1,480,287,889 (KRW)
2010
More info 528,596

Total contribution in USD: 528,596
Total contribution in currency: 619,834,494 KRW
2009 124,349
2008 79,609
2007 20,686
2006 9,262

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