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2015 UNHCR subregional operations profile - East Asia and the Pacific

| Overview |

UNHCR 2015 East Asia and the Pacific subregional operations map

Mixed flows of urban asylum-seekers and migrants from South-West Asia, the Middle East and Africa continue to be the main protection feature in the subregion.

The central challenge for UNHCR is to assist States in shaping responses that balance concerns for border and migration control with the protection of asylum-seekers' rights.

The organization is pursuing dialogue with all relevant actors to foster regional cooperation rather than unilateral deterrence measures, and avoid people of concern being rejected at the border; to seek alternatives to the detention of asylum-seekers; and to discourage the development of restrictive asylum policies.

In Australia, restrictive policy changes introduced previously were further reinforced by the coalition Government elected in September 2013. The introduction of (regional) offshore processing in Papua New Guinea and Nauru in 2012, with no prospect of durable settlement in Australia, was combined with 'Operation Sovereign Borders' to implement the Government's policy of intercepting and returning boats to Indonesia.

The new Government reduced the humanitarian programme from 20,000 resettlement places in the fiscal year 2012-2013 to 13,750 places in 2014-2015, of which 6,000 are expected to be available for UNHCR-referred refugees. In September 2014, Australia and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding for the relocation of recognized refugees from Nauru to Cambodia.

In New Zealand, the overall climate for refugee protection remained positive, with a modest but well-managed resettlement programme and consistent financial support. However, legislation to deter boat arrivals came into force in 2013.

In Papua New Guinea, there have been positive steps toward integrating West Papuan refugees, including the announcement that the citizenship fee will be waived. A clearer legal basis for refugee protection is also being drafted in a new migration act. The Government is taking steps to lift its seven reservations to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Pacific Island Countries are strengthening collaboration around border management and are gradually accommodating refugee protection into laws, policies and activities, while UNHCR continues to process the small number of asylum-seekers who move into the region. The organization will monitor policy and practice regarding detention in Australia and at the processing centres of Nauru and Papua New Guinea, and advocate for the application of international standards to the treatment of people of concern.

China is becoming a transit and destination country for mixed migration as a result of its geographical and economic importance. The operational environments in mainland China, and the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SARs) continue to be at variance.

In mainland China, following the adoption of the Exit-Entry Administration Law in 2013,UNHCR will advocate that the Chinese authorities assume full responsibility for registration, refugee status determination (RSD) and durable solutions, in line with international standards.

In Hong Kong SAR, China, a unified screening mechanism (USM) to assess claims for protection against refoulement before executing removal orders became operational in March. As a result, UNHCR has ceased its asylum-screening procedures and refocused on providing the authorities with capacity-building assistance and closely monitoring USM implementation.

Macao SAR, China, is implementing refugee legislation through a refugees' commission, in consultation with UNHCR.

In Japan, the Ministry of Justice has established a sub-committee to review the country's asylum system, which is expected to introduce measures to improve the system's fairness and efficiency. UNHCR provides technical advice to the committee and will participate in drawing up the final recommendations. Following completion of a pilot phase, the Government has decided to start a formal resettlement programme in 2015.

Through public information and protection advocacy, UNHCR will pursue strong partnerships and support among decision-makers, non-governmental agencies and the public, to enhance international protection in Japan.

The asylum system in the Republic of Korea is relatively recent. UNHCR is thus helping to build national capacity with executive, judiciary and legislative bodies, as well as with the public and civil society organizations.

The Republic of Korea has recently expressed its willingness to become a resettlement country, a welcome development.

| Response and implementation |

In Australia and New Zealand, UNHCR will monitor decision-making processes, and use diplomatic and public advocacy to focus on preserving the non-discriminatory implementation of asylum, irrespective of how asylum-seekers arrive. The aims are to improve admission to RSD procedures, pursue alternatives to detention and expand the search for durable solutions.

UNHCR will support government efforts towards fair and efficient RSD procedures and consistency in decision-making at different instances.

The Office will monitor the implementation of bilateral arrangements between Australia and Papua New Guinea, and between Australia and Nauru, as well as the memorandum of understanding between Australia and Cambodia.

UNHCR will work to promote further public awareness of asylum and refugee protection issues in Australia and New Zealand, notably greater tolerance and understanding of the dynamics of forced population movements, including by sea.

In Papua New Guinea, UNHCR will facilitate durable solutions for West Papuan refugees, especially local integration, and will support the capacity of government and NGO partners to provide effective protection and assistance to non-Melanesian asylum-seekers and refugees.

Meanwhile States in the Pacific Island Countries, will receive UNHCR support to introduce protection safeguards in immigration procedures and establish and/ or reinforce RSD capacity through training.

In China, UNHCR will continue to balance the direct delivery of protection and assistance services to asylum-seekers and refugees with a move to providing greater advocacy and technical support for central and provincial authorities. The aim is to gradually capacitate the latter to take over responsibility for registration, asylum processing and the realization of durable solutions for those needing international protection.

Together with the Government, the Office will ensure that administrative structures and regulations for the new Exit-Entry Administration Law are in place. In the meantime, UNHCR will continue conducting RSD and providing legal counselling and social and material assistance to the most vulnerable refugees, until durable solutions are identified.

In Hong Kong SAR, China, UNHCR will monitor the unified screening mechanism, provide technical support to the authorities and help find durable solutions. Public awareness will accompany successful fund raising activities.

In Japan, UNHCR's refugee protection activities will support the authorities in refocusing their reception, RSD and local integration mechanisms, including by following up on the recommendations of the sub-committee on asylum.

The organization will undertake a range of awareness-raising activities, including public events such as the Refugee Film Festival with Japan for UNHCR, and external partners. UNHCR will strengthen its strategic partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency.

In the Republic of Korea, the Office will advocate better access to the asylum system and social services for approximately 6,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. UNHCR will also support the Government's efforts to prepare for a resettlement programme.

The organization will target potential private donors with innovative campaigns, and intensify its contacts with the Korean business community to generate corporate-sector funding.

| Financial information |

In 2015, the overall financial requirements for the East Asia and the Pacific subregion have been set at USD 12.6 million.

In the Pacific, UNHCR has maintained a very modest budget despite the significant protection challenges the organization continues to face in the region.

In mainland China, more direct delivery of protection and assistance to an increasing population of urban refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as increased capacity-building activities, have resulted in higher financial requirements for 2015.

In Japan and the Republic of Korea, financial requirements will remain stable.

UNHCR 2015 budgets for East Asia and the Pacific (USD)
Operation 2014
Revised budget
(as of 30 June 2014)
2015
Refugee
programme
PILLAR 1
Stateless
programme
PILLAR 2
Total
Total 13,786,402 12,204,212 425,746 12,629,958
1. Includes activities in New Zealand, the Pacific Island countries and Papua New Guinea.
Australia Regional Office[1] 2,631,314 1,976,523 0 1,976,523
China 4,734,380 3,951,597 188,448 4,140,045
Japan 4,010,561 3,748,439 68,584 3,817,023
Republic of Korea 2,110,146 1,993,552 168,714 2,162,266
Regional activities 300,000 534,101 0 534,101

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update


UNHCR contact information

The UNHCR Regional Representation in China
Style of Address The UNHCR Regional Representative for China and Mongolia
Street Address 1-2-1, Tayan Diplomatic Office, Building 14, Liangmahe Nan Lu, 10600 Beijing, China
Mailing Address 1-2-1, Tayan Diplomatic Office, Building 14, Liangmahe Nan Lu, 10600 Beijing, China
Telephone 86 10 6532 6806
Facsimile 86 10 6532 1647
Email chibe@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 8
Working Hours
Monday:08:30 - 17:30
Tuesday:08:30 - 17:30
Wednesday:08:30 - 17:30
Thursday:08:30 - 17:30
Friday:08:30 - 17:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
30 January 2014, Chinese New Year
31 January 2014, Chinese New Year
03 February 2014, Chinese New Year
01 May 2014, Labour Day
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
08 September 2014, Mid-Autumn Festival
01 October 2014, China national Day
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Sub-Office at Hong Kong SAR
Style of Address The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office at Hong Kong SAR
Street Address Room 911, 9 Floor, Yau Ma Tei Carpark Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Mailing Address P.O. Box 73887, Kowloon Central Post Office, Hong Kong, China
Telephone 852 2 780 9271
Facsimile 852 2 770 5504
Website http://www.unhcr.org.hk
Email chiho@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + 8
Working Hours
Monday:9:00 - 18:00
Tuesday:9:00 - 18:00
Wednesday:9:00 - 18:00
Thursday:9:00 - 18:00
Friday:9:00 - 18:00
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
30 January 2014, Chinese New Year
31 January 2014, Chinese New Year
03 February 2014, Chinese New Year
01 May 2014, Labour Day
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
08 September 2014, Mid-Autumn Festival
01 October 2014, China national Day
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
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Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in China [1]
Refugees [2]
More info 301,047
The 300,000 Vietnamese refugees are well integrated and in practice receive protection from the Government of China.
Asylum Seekers [3] 380
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 301,427
Originating from China [1]
Refugees [2] 195,137
Asylum Seekers [3] 24,782
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 219,919
Government Contributions to UNHCR
2013 Contributions Breakdown
Total contribution in USD: 1,475,014 [rank: 29]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 350,000 [rank: 24]
Donor ranking per GDP: 66
Donor ranking per capita: 67
2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2000
YearUSD
2014
More info 929,464
As at 8 December 2014
2013
More info 1,475,014
Total contribution in USD: 1,475,014 [rank: 29]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 350,000 [rank: 24]
Donor ranking per GDP: 66
Donor ranking per capita: 67
2012
More info 474,630
Total contribution in USD: 474,630 [rank: 34]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 350,000 [rank: 23]
Donor ranking per GDP: 70
Donor ranking per capita: 71
2011
More info 250,000
Total contribution in USD: 250,000 [rank: 36]
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 250,000 [rank: 24]
Donor ranking per GDP: 46
Donor ranking per capita: 46
2010
More info 250,000
Total contribution in USD: 250,000 (rank: 33)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 250,000 (rank: 25)
Donor ranking per GDP: 59
Donor ranking per capita: 59
2009
More info 250,000
Total contribution in USD: 250,000 (rank: 38)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 250,000 (rank: 24)
Donor ranking per GDP: 57
Donor ranking per capita: 57
2008
More info 651,906
Total contribution in USD: 651,906 (rank: 31)
Total contribution in currency: 24,251,000 (PKR) 250,000 (USD)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 250,000 (rank: 26)
Donor ranking per GDP: 42
Donor ranking per capita: 43
2007
More info 250,000
Total contribution in USD: 250,000 (rank: 39)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 250,000 (rank: 23)
Donor ranking per GDP: 44
Donor ranking per capita: 44
2006
More info 250,000
Total contribution in USD: 250,000 (rank: 55)
Unrestricted contribution (USD): 250,000 (rank: 28)
Donor ranking per GDP: 39
Donor ranking per capita: 39
2005
More info 250,000
USD 250,000 of which 100% was unrestricted.
2004
More info 250,000
USD 250,000 of which 100% was unrestricted.
2003
More info 250,000
USD 250,000 of which 100% was unrestricted.
2002
More info 283,600
USD 283,600 of which USD 250,000 unrestricted (88%) and USD 33,600 (12%) earmarked at the country level.
2001
More info 312,700
USD 312,700 of which 250,000 (80%) unrestricted and 62,700 (20%) earmarked.
2000
More info 250,000
USD 250,000 of which 100% unrestricted.
Private Sector Contributions to UNHCR
Private sector in Hong Kong SAR (China) 2013

Total contribution in USD: 5,128,873
Total contribution in currency: 39,783,948 (HKD)
Major donorsUSD
Macao Refugee Welfare Association64,457
Shih Wing Ching Foundation38,672
Pak Fah Yeow Medicine Ltd37,350

2013 Contributions chart
Contributions since 2006
YearUSD
2014
More info 5,494,997
As at 8 December 2014 (Hong Kong)
2013
More info 5,128,873

Total contribution in USD: 5,128,873
Total contribution in currency: 39,783,948 (HKD)
Major donorsUSD
Macao Refugee Welfare Association64,457
Shih Wing Ching Foundation38,672
Pak Fah Yeow Medicine Ltd37,350
2012
More info 3,927,743

Total contribution in USD: 3,927,743
Total contribution in currency: 30,468,988 (HKD)
Major donorsUSD
Shih Wing Ching Foundation Ltd.64,516
2011
More info 3,468,084

Total contribution in USD: 3,468,084
Total contribution in currency: 27,014,700 (HKD)
Major donorsUSD
Shih Wing Ching Foundation Ltd.64,516
2010
More info 2,675,867

Total contribution in USD: 2,675,867
Total contribution in currency: 20,765,076 HKD
Major donorsUSD
Hong Kong Buddhist Association271,337
2009 0
2008 0
2007 0
2006 0

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