Placing refugees at the centre of research and documentation is fundamental to the work of ASPIRE Penang.
Through our community networks, the experience, ideas, hopes and aspirations of women, men and youth from the refugee community are discussed and documented. As appropriate, they are then presented to decision-makers, the wider Malaysian public, service providers and wider national and regional circles.
The promotion of refugee voices in doing this is also key to ASPIRE Penang's work. We continually work to open up spaces where refugees can advocate for themselves; our work also translates directly into advocacy for promoting refugee rights, safety and well-being as well as for developing relevant community-based interventions.
We have worked with Malaysian enforcement agencies in order to facilitate the taking of testimonies from women and men refugees in Penang. This has extended to working with Suhakam, a number of UN agency missions related to Myanmar and the region, the International Peoples Tribunal, university and research institutions, and media.
Our own documentation has included focus on
the awful events in Arakan State in 2016/2017; The experience of the human trafficking camps and murders in Wang Kelian; Arrests and Detention; Employment; and Refugee Empowerment through Digital Inclusion. Regular contributions to advocacy discussions at national and regional level are very much integrated into our work.
Two more recent reports have focussed on Child Marriage and on Education. You can download these by clicking on the image (see right). Both describe the situation facing refugees and sets out what needs to be done.
NOTHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US is a core operating principle of ASPIRE Penang