Asylum Access Malaysia (AAM) is a Malaysian-registered NGO and part of the Asylum Access family of organizations. Launched in 2014, Asylum Access Malaysia’s on-the-ground operations include direct legal services for refugees and asylum seekers, Know-Your-Options trainings, and engagement with UNHCR and other stakeholders in Malaysia’s refugee rights movement.
Malaysia is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and has no domestic or administrative framework that governs refugees and their rights. However, as of September 2014, there are almost 150,000 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR Malaysia. In Malaysia, refugees do not have access to fundamental rights including legal status, safe and lawful employment, formal education and equal protection of the law, and are at constant risk of arrest, detention and exploitation.
AAM’s refugee legal aid program assists refugees and asylum seekers to successfully navigate the UNHCR Refugee Status Determination (RSD) process, thereby improving their chances of living safely and moving freely in Malaysia. In addition to direct legal services, AAM offers Know-Your-Options workshops to provide basic legal and practical information to help refugees navigate the RSD process and avail themselves of other legal protections that may prevent detention and deportation and help them acclimatize to life in Malaysia. AAM has also begun capacity building activities with lawyers, universities and civil society organizations to develop a refugee legal aid network in Malaysia.
Increasingly, the Malaysian government has evidenced a greater willingness for dialogue on subjects such as refugee rights and human trafficking. As a result, AAM seeks new opportunities to seek out development refugee employment rights, protection of refugees against trafficking, access to social services such as healthcare services, and improvements to due process protections in refugee status/asylum proceedings.
AAM is transforming the human rights landscape for refugees in Malaysia, so they can live safely, move freely, seek safe and lawful employment, send children to school, and begin to rebuild their lives.
Want to contribute to the global refugee rights movement? Find out how to get involved or join us as a Volunteer Legal Advocate.