Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Registration of UNHCR refugees and asylum-seekers in January

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will start the registration of asylum-seekers and refugees holding UNHCR documents in January, the UN Refugee Agency said.

This follows an agreement between Malaysia and UNHCR on the registration of the asylum seekers. The exercise will be carried out progressively in major cities where refugees are located.

It will be a joint effort involving the Home and Foreign Ministries, Immigration Department, National Security Council and UNHCR.

"UNHCR will communicate closely with refugee communities on the timing and location of the registration exercise," said Alan Vernon, UNHCR Representative.

"This exercise will continue until all UNHCR refugees and asylum-seekers are registered."

Vernon clarified that this exercise involves the registration of asylum-seekers and refugees, and is separate from the Home Ministry's 6P legalisation of illegal foreigners programme.

There are currently some 95,000 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Malaysia, fleeing persecution and conflict from many countries including Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

As part of this registration exercise, and consistent with similar exercises UNHCR has conducted with other Governments around the world, both parties have agreed to ensure the confidentiality of the biographical information that will be gathered from the UNHCR document holders.
Sources: The Star
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