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The Verandah of Protection: Violence, History and the Protection of Rohingya Refugees in Aceh and Beyond

This project aims to explore ‘indigenous’ approaches to protection in Southeast Asia.

How do histories, individual and collective, of violence and displacement influence how people respond to appeals for protection from others? How might these histories be woven into understandings of refugee protection? This project employs a multi-site, inter-disciplinary, multi-method, and creative research process to answer these questions using the case study of Rohingya who have sought protection in Aceh (Indonesia) over the past decade. The project examines the negotiation of these histories in Acehnese legal fora, in particular through sharia and adat (customary) law, informed by histories of conflict. It traces the onward movement of Rohingya to other parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, examining how (other) host communities – with(out) histories of violence – respond to their protection. The project explores ‘indigenous’ approaches to protection in contexts where international arguments are weak (particularly in Southeast Asia), problematising ‘expertise’ in protection (and research) that have hitherto privileged international over local actors. 

Research TeamMr Martin Jones, University of York;Dr Alice Nah, University of York; Ms Lilianne Fan, Yayasan Geutanyoe, Malaysia; Ms Fitria Fitria, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Indonesia 

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International

We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.