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Malaysia hosts some 181,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. 85% are from Myanmar, including some 103,000 Rohingyas. The remaining are from 50 other countries, including Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia. 

67% of refugees and asylum-seekers are men, while 33% are women. 45,650 are children below the age of 18. They live in cities and towns across the peninsular, with sizeable populations in Klang Valley, Johor, and Penang.

In the absence of an asylum system regulating the status and rights of refugees, UNHCR conducts all activities related to the registration, documentation, and status determination of refugees. UNHCR cooperates with the Malaysian Government in managing refugee protection, such as prevention of arrest and detention and strengthening self-reliance, including through access to legal work. UNHCR works closely with partners, including civil society, the private sector, and refugees, to provide humanitarian support for refugees through education and healthcare.

Additional information

For information about our work in Malaysia:

Malaysia website

Visit the UNHCR Malaysia website for more information on our work in the area and the latest local news and stories.

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Operational updates

For up-to-date information about our programmes and operations in Malaysia, including funding level and donor contributions, visit Global Focus, UNHCR's reporting portal.

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Legislation and guidance

For legislation, case law and UNHCR policy relating to claims for international protection, visit Refworld.

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