This year the ASEAN Civil Society Conference (ACSC) 2011 was hosted by civil society groups in Jakarta from the 3rd – 5th May, 2011 at Hotel Ciputa in Jakarta. The ACSC was attended by more than 1300 participants from all over ASEAN. Apart from the plenaries, there were more than 33 workshops that were held under 16 thematic clusters.
APRRN began engaging with the ACSC process only since 2010. In 2010, APRRN was nominated as the Refugee Focal Point in the SAPA Task Force on Human Rights in ASEAN. As a part of SAPA APRRN, in 2010 along with members such as People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF), the Thai Committee for Refugees (TCR) and SUARAM organized the first workshop on refugees at the APF in Hanoi in 2010.
In 2011, APRRN along with members such as the Thai Committee for Refugees (TCR), Asylum Access Thailand, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) and others organized a refugee and statelessness workshop in Jakarta. The workshop was held on the 4th of May, 2011 and attended by 60 participants. The panel for the workshop consisted of four panelists: Veerawit Tianchainan (TCR), Medhapan Sundaredeja (AAT), Febi Yonesta (LBH Jakarta) and Dr. Enni Soeprapto. The panel was moderated by Anoop Sukumaran.
Veerawit Tianchainan spoke about the master plan on ASEAN connectivity and refugee management as well as the gaps and necessary steps of refugee protection. Febi Yonesta, presented on the issue of Indonesian law and refugee protection where he outlined Indonesia’s policy on refugees and challenges faced by them. Dr. Enni Soeprapto’s presentation was one which weaved various threads from the histories of various countries in the ASEAN, the recent histories of refugees and their travails in the region as well as the policy and political conditions that gave rise to peculiar situations. The panel was followed by a lively discussion. The workshop came up with a number of recommendations for the ACSC drafting committee to consider, some of which were also incorporated in the final statement.