According to research commissioned by the UN Human Rights Office in order to design the ‘Dari Dapur’ campaign, Malaysians largely see the benefits that migration brings to the country’s economy and society yet are daunted by some of the complex issues that it raises such as on integration. This research showed that Malaysians overwhelmingly agree that respect for human rights is a sign of a decent society and that everyone deserves equal rights in the country. Some 63% agreed that our communities are stronger when we support everyone, and more than half believe that we should help other people no matter who they are or where they come from. Around 35% of Malaysians strongly or somewhat strongly believe that people fleeing persecution or war should be welcomed, with an equal number wanting to welcome those who are unable to obtain healthcare, education, food or decent work.
“Migration is a complicated and often abstract issue for many Malaysians”, said Pia Oberoi, Senior Advisor on Migration in the Asia Pacific region for the UN Human Rights Office, “but storytelling is a good way to cut through the noise. Our research found that people want to hear and see the everyday lives of people on the move, to understand and appreciate that we have more in common than what divides us. The Dari Dapur campaign, which is built on shared realities and universal values, brings to life the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which turns 75 this year.”
“We need shared stories that show migrants and refugees have a place in the Malaysian narratives,” said Elroi Yee, an investigative journalist and the producer of the ‘Dari Dapur’ campaign. “I can’t think of a better way than using food to bring everyone to the table. With the production of these short films we hope to inspire Malaysian storytellers to share the narrative space, and for all of us to rethink the way we relate to our migrant and refugee neighbours.”
The campaign is the second edition of the #StandUp4Migrants campaign in the Asia Pacific region, a global initiative of the UN Human Rights Office to build human-rights based narratives around migrants and migration. The first edition brought the ‘MyGreat Story’ campaign to Australia in September 2022.