Most countries in South-East Asia do not have national asylum systems and generally consider asylum seekers and refugees to be illegal migrants. The quintessential outsiders, refugees are routinely denied fundamental rights including legal status, freedom from detention and deportation, access to safe and lawful employment, and equal protection of the law.

Asylum Access operates in Thailand and Malaysia, countries which are not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and do not recognize refugees and asylum seekers in domestic law.