HOST International is the winner of the 2019 TrustLaw Collaboration Award from the Thomson Reuters Foundation for research on refugee access to fair and lawful work in Asia, together with partners Asylum Access, Refugee Talent and six pro-bono legal firms from across Asia.

TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro-bono legal service, presented the award on November 11th  at a ceremony in London. Now in their ninth year, the Awards celebrate groundbreaking pro-bono projects undertaken by legal teams with NGOs and social enterprises in the TrustLaw network.

”It is an honour to receive this award for collaboration as it is what we are all about – partnering with others to find solutions to make life better for refugees,” said HOST International CEO David Keegan.

The final report, available here , examines the rights of refugees to work safely and lawfully in eight countries in Asia – Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. It features country-specific scorecards examining policies and practices in the eight research countries and provides a clear baseline and starting point for engaging with refugee work rights in Asia. 

“In a time of protracted conflicts globally, alternative pathways for refugees to settle and continue with their lives is vital. Legal employment is one option which can also help host countries thrive,” said Fiona Li, the Asia Pacific TrustLaw representative who supported coordination of the project. 

Pro-bono legal support for the project was led by Nokia and supported by teams from DLA Piper, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & GatmaitanBTG Legal, Bae, Kim & LeeBaker & McKenzie.

The final report will be launched at the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva on 16 December, where opportunities and possibilities for refugee access to fair and lawful work in Asia will be further discussed with an international audience, including input from refugee-led organisations in Asia.

The following video provides an overview of the project.