Seeking security for refugees
in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific
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This chapter explores the dilemmas in the context of asylum-seekers in Southeast Asia. In doing so, it points to the role of international refugee law in mitigating against sovereignty as exclusion. The chapter also explores how and why international refugee law falls short of redefining state obligation in the region in such a way as to effectively redress the suffering of asylum-seekers. It demonstrates how Southeast Asian states have come to justify their rejection of international refugee law, and also explores why these reasons have not been successfully challenged in international society. The chapter outlines how the failure to ensure refugee security through the application of international refugee law has resulted in extreme insecurity of asylum seekers in the region. It focuses on the case of Malaysia, which despite its arguably more generous asylum reception policy than many of its neighbours, still remains outside the framework of international refugee law.

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