Why is Asia MIA on refugees?

Sharing core norms and values
Sep 28, 2016 | Brookings Institution, Katherine Moon

There is no clear pattern that explains why Asia is ‘missing in action’ with regard to  refugees. Despite the region’s economic achievements and aspirations for global power and influence, Katharine Moon of the Brookings Institution argues that most Asian countries are locked in myopic state-centrism with respect to humanitarian engagement, and are slow to adopt international standards and laws that promote human rights. She suggests that Asian leaders interpret national sovereignty narrowly, resenting outside influence and the impact of the world’s diverse migrant people and cultures. Even if they have accepted and benefited from globalisation, the shift of mindsets from boundaried nationality to cosmopolitanism and global burden-sharing is still at an early stage.

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