Photo by Miko Guziuk on Unsplash
Beyond Borders Malaysia believes in refugee-led advocacy and empowers refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons to speak up about their rights. It challenges the government to engage with them on their right to work, education and healthcare, and works to re-build futures.-Beyond Borders Malaysia
Mahi Ramakrishnan is a refugee rights activist and runs a non-profit organisation, Beyond Borders, which works to promote and protect the rights of refugees and stateless persons in Malaysia, who are fleeing internal conflicts and persecution in their home countries.
She has been working with the refugees for 14 years now: connecting refugee communities with the Malaysian society, creating platforms for the refugees to speak up and lobbying the Malaysian government for a comprehensive refugee policy.
Mahi specializes in the issues of forced migration and trafficking and specifically on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Gender-Based Atrocity Crimes (GBAC).
Working with refugees who have experienced conflict, she creates opportunities for them to speak up about their experiences and the need for peace and reconciliation through the performing arts and networking with civil society organisations in Malaysia.
As a multiple award-wining filmmaker and investigative journalist, Mahi uses her documentaries to highlight issues related to trafficking, including the sexual, physical, mental and emotional violence unleashed against refugees and particularly against women and girls.
Mahi also advocates for the right to work, education and healthcare as a way of creating a livelihood and safe spaces for these refugees in Malaysia and re-claiming their lost dignity.
She is currently in the process of setting up an art space where refugees are free to express themselves and to seek collaboration with Malaysian artists, to project refugees as people who are able to contribute effectively to the Malaysian society and to iron out hostilities between them and the host community.
Mahi also runs an annual refugee festival to showcase the talents of artists from different refugee communities.