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Advancing Refugee Protection from Bottom-Up: Case of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)

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Title:Advancing Refugee Protection from Bottom-Up: Case of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN)
Authors:Choi, Won Geun
Contributors:Flowers, Petrice R. (advisor)
Political Science (department)
Keywords:Political science
International relations
civil society
International refugee regime
show 2 moreRefugee
social movement
show less
Date Issued:2020
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:Refugees in Asia have been suffering from insufficient refugee protection mechanisms in the region. It is common in the region that most states are not fully committed to international refugee protection, and Asia is the only region without regional frameworks and national instruments to protect refugees. However, the absence of international and regional instruments and the failure of states in Asia do not necessarily result in a complete vacuum of refugee protection. Instead, it exposes alternative paths in refugee protection. Asian civil society created a regional network, the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) in 2008, and the network organization has been the center of constructing alternative refugee protection from bottom-up. Then, how has the Asian civil society become one of the major stakeholders in refugee protection whereas the legal and political instruments have been inadequate or malfunctioning? What makes APRRN an emerging counterpart to predominant stakeholders in the international refugee regime? This research argues that APRRN is playing a critical role in the development of alternative refugee protection in Asia. First, APRRN contests the state-centric international refugee laws by transplanting international human rights legal frames. It tries to enhance regional and national refugee protection through the practical implementation beyond formal institutionalization, such as the Alternatives To Detention (ATD) and the domestic legislation campaigns. Second, Asian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) challenge conventional power relationships and elevate the subordinate position of the civil society in the international refugee regime by mobilizing resources. APRRN provides a platform to access global agenda-setting and decision-making processes and has become an advocate, instead of remaining a service-provider. APRRN promotes common identity and shared values in addition to cognitive liberation to change regional, national, and local conditions. As a result, APRRN attempts to overcome the securitization of refugee protection, which is shaped by historical experiences and political culture in Asia, by implementing rights-based principles and practices.
Pages/Duration:210 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Political Science

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