Goal 4: Transitional and Durable Solutions Are Available

All our protection work will have a singular objective – to find temporary and permanent solutions for refugees that will give them the hope for a better and more stable future.

For refugees in Malaysia, a number of evolving geo-political considerations have been factored into the five-year Strategy.

  • The number and profile of resettlement places for refugees in Malaysia is likely to be different in composition and much smaller in number than the preceding period 2005-2016.
  • The limited number of resettlement places will have to be prioritised on the basis of need and vulnerability. This will impact on the prospects of solutions for many refugees. It will also increase the importance of better managed and more supportive transitional arrangements for those refugees who can neither go home nor be resettled elsewhere.
  • The changing situation in some countries of origin, particularly Myanmar, means that some refugees in Malaysia will no longer need the protection of UNHCR’s Mandate. With proper counselling and support, some can consider voluntary return, or alternative pathways, such as regulated migrant or humanitarian schemes in Malaysia or elsewhere.
  • The Government of Malaysia has given positive indications

On resettlement, we will advocate for strong and sustained commitments from resettlement partners, with priority for vulnerable refugees.

On voluntary repatriation, we will work closely with community leaders through focus groups, and counselling and information sessions to assess the potential interest to return. We will continue to monitor developments and conditions in Myanmar and facilitate individual returns in a safe and dignified manner for those who choose, voluntarily, to return home.

We will ensure that refugee communities are adequately equipped and supported to make autonomous decisions that are freely taken and in their own interests.

On temporary or transitional solutions, we will advocate for, and support, schemes that allow lawful work opportunities in Malaysia. These arrangements will focus on skills and livelihoods opportunities for refugees that both strengthen their temporary self-reliance and also build on the foundations for their durable solutions.

Lawful access to employment would be a ‘win- win’ for all concerned. The benefits of a more regulated and better controlled legal environment for refugees are set out under Goal 2 of the Strategy.

To accomplish this goal, we will:

  • Ensure accurate and regular information is available to refugees, community leaders, and supporting civil society partners on all durable solutions, including voluntary return. Central, is the refugees’ ability to make free, informed, and realistic decisions on their future;
  • Subject to resources, mobilise and provide support for refugees seeking to return voluntarily to their homes;
  • Maintain an effective process of resettlement for refugees identified with heightened vulnerabilities and acute protection needs, for whom no temporary or durable solutions are reasonably available;
  • Through internal and external referral networks and assessments, strengthen and expand its procedures to identify vulnerable refugees, with a particular emphasis on unaccompanied children, women and girls at risk, and those with serious disabilities;
  • Advocate for resettlement options for vulnerable refugees, and safe and dignified voluntary repatriation procedures for those no longer needing protection under UNHCR’s Mandate;
  • Advocate and provide practical support for transitional/temporary work rights and local integration;
  • Work with the Government of Malaysia, employers, and refugee communities to expand lawful work opportunities for refugees with adequate oversight and monitoring mechanisms;
  • Support schools and vocational training centres to raise the skills and income generating capacity of refugees, both through local work opportunities and after departure from Malaysia.