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The ICRC regional delegation in Kuala Lumpur

15-05-2014 Overview

The regional delegation in Kuala Lumpur covers Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. It promotes humanitarian values and relevant international norms and standards with government agencies, detaining authorities, armed and security forces, and civil society groups. Much of its work is conducted jointly with the Malaysian Red Crescent, Brunei Darussalam Red Crescent and the Singapore Red Cross.

The ICRC has been working in Malaysia since 1972, and opened its regional delegation in Kuala Lumpur in 2001. The delegation engages with national and regional bodies, including ASEAN, to understand issues of concern and to share technical expertise, experience, analysis and programme support on humanitarian principles and issues.

Addressing the needs of people deprived of their freedom

In Malaysia, the ICRC lends support to the Prisons Department, the Immigration Department and the Federal Special Task Force in Sabah to help address the needs of detainees. In collaboration with the authorities, regular visits to detainees are carried out, supporting the authorities’ efforts to ensure that the conditions and treatment of people held in immigration detention centres, temporary detention centres and prisons in East and West Malaysia meet national and international standards. Working with the Malaysian Red Crescent and other national societies in the worldwide Family Links Network, the ICRC makes it possible for detainees to re-establish contact with their families.

Promoting international humanitarian law

The ICRC works closely with government bodies and the Attorney-General's Chambers on the integration of international humanitarian law and other related norms into domestic legislation. In addition to its bilateral working relations with the government, the ICRC is also engaged in constructive cooperation with multilateral organizations such as ASEAN, notably through chair nations and its working committees.

Working with the armed and security forces

The ICRC provides regular support to the training of military officers at the Military Staff College, Joint Warfare Centre (PESAMA), the Malaysian Peacekeeping Training Centre in Port Dickson and the Army Medical Unit. The organization participates in seminars and workshops for all levels of the Malaysian Armed Forces to enhance understanding and application of international humanitarian law in their operations. The ICRC is also a regular trainer at courses conducted at the Defence Staff Colleges in both Brunei and Singapore.

Working closely with the Royal Malaysia Police and the Civil Defence force, the ICRC supports the training of senior personnel and shares expertise on international standards of policing and public order management. It is a regular participant at police and military pre-deployment training courses, preparing officers for peacekeeping and other humanitarian deployments.

Increasing awareness of humanitarian law and its principles

The ICRC nurtures contacts with the media and civil society, and promotes humanitarian law and its principles in schools and universities in order to engage future decision-makers on humanitarian issues. In all three countries, students and academics participate in various local and regional events. The Moot Court Competition and ICRC-UiTM annual Debate Tournament have been running since 2004, attracting teams from across the region to hone their knowledge of international humanitarian law.

In Malaysia and Brunei, the ICRC works closely with the National Red Crescent Societies and ministries of education in promoting the incorporation of humanitarian principles in both schools and the youth syllabuses of the National Societies. With the Singapore Red Cross Society (SRC), the ICRC works to promote humanitarian values through the SRC Academy and reaches out to SRC youth members in schools and universities.

The ICRC closely monitors regional trends and is an active voice in regional humanitarian debates, especially on issues of particular interest such as migration, protection issues in disaster response, civil-military relations and new means and methods of warfare (including cyber warfare).

Cooperation with National Societies

Working closely with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the ICRC helps all three National Societies to strengthen their capacities and to promote the movement’s fundamental principles. The ICRC also works in partnership with these societies in reuniting separated families through the restoring family links programme and in disseminating humanitarian principles.

Working with the Malaysian Red Crescent, the delegation maintains a presence in Sabah, working to strengthen understanding of the humanitarian needs of vulnerable communities and to develop possible responses.

Together with the IFRC, the ICRC assists in establishing mechanisms and platforms that facilitate the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement’s humanitarian response across the region.


Photos

Officers of various armed forces take part in an exercise during the Senior Workshop on International Rules Governing Military Operations (SWIRMO) in 2012. The ICRC helps armed forces around the world to integrate international humanitarian law into their doctrine, operations and training. 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Officers of various armed forces take part in an exercise during the Senior Workshop on International Rules Governing Military Operations (SWIRMO) in 2012. The ICRC helps armed forces around the world to integrate international humanitarian law into their doctrine, operations and training.
© Malaysian Armed Forces

The ICRC works with the Malaysian Prisons Department to train staff at events such as this seminar on health care in detention. 

Malaysia
The ICRC works with the Malaysian Prisons Department to train staff at events such as this seminar on health care in detention.
© ICRC / M. Wiegmann

Students express their ideas on a poster at an exploring humanitarian law workshop that aims to cultivate respect for life and human dignity.  

Kuala Selangor, Malaysia
Students express their ideas on a poster at an exploring humanitarian law workshop that aims to cultivate respect for life and human dignity.
© ICRC / P. Tan