The ICRC regional delegation in Kuala Lumpur
The regional delegation in Kuala Lumpur covers Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. It focuses on dialogue with national and regional bodies on humanitarian issues, IHL, and the mandate and role of the ICRC. The ICRC also helps the Malaysian authorities meet the humanitarian needs of detainees.
Having worked in Malaysia since 1972, the ICRC’s regional delegation opened in 2001.
Besides overseeing activities in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore, the Delegation hosts the Regional Resource Centre (RRC), which supports the work of ICRC delegations in South-East Asia, East Asia and the Pacific. This pool of specialists works across the region with policy makers, State agencies and National Societies, providing consultation, technical expertise and training programmes. The RRC promotes IHL and other humanitarian standards, networks with think-tanks and others in the diplomatic arena, and participates in meetings of Asian regional organizations.
The delegation maintains contact with national and regional authorities, encouraging accession to and national implementation of IHL, and positioning the ICRC as a partner on humanitarian issues.
It strengthens relations with government departments through regular dialogue, enabling the ICRC to understand issues of interest to the authorities and to share thoughts and analysis on humanitarian issues and on the work of the ICRC in countries of interest to the region.
In Malaysia, the ICRC enjoys constructive dialogue with the Prisons Department, the Immigration Department and the Department of Depot Management of the Ministry of Home Affairs on detainees and other vulnerable groups. The principal aim of this cooperation, which includes regular visits to detainees, is to support the authorities’ efforts to ensure that the conditions and treatment of people held in Immigration Detention Centres, Temporary Detention Centres and prisons in Malaysia meet national and international and standards.
As in over 80 countries around the world, the ICRC works extensively with the region’s armed forces, sharing over 150 years of experience of providing humanitarian assistance in situations of conflict. The ICRC enjoys a high level of acceptance and operational dialogue with the armed forces, and works with them towards the integration of IHL into their doctrine, operations and training. In Malaysia, the ICRC regularly briefs senior military officers at the Military Staff College, Joint Warfare Centre (PESAMA), the Peacekeeping Centre in Port Dickson, and the Army Medical Unit, and the ICRC and the Malaysian Armed Forces organize joint seminars and workshops on the law of armed conflict (LOAC).
The ICRC nurtures contacts with the media and civil society, and promotes IHL in schools and universities as a means of inculcating the principle of humanity amongst future decision-makers. In Malaysia and Brunei, the ICRC works closely with the National Societies and ministries of education, promoting the introduction of the Exploring Humanitarian Law (EHL) programme in schools and within the youth syllabus of the National Societies. In Malaysia, relevant parts of EHL have been integrated into the 'Civics and Citizenship Education' syllabus, which is taught nationwide to 15-year-old pupils.
Together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC trains the region’s National Societies to disseminate IHL effectively, to restore family links and to raise public awareness of the Movement’s Fundamental Principles.