June 13, 2022

[Student Achievement] Ms. Ratu Bintang Assyifa Arweys

[Student Achievement]

Congratulations to Ms. Ratu Bintang Assyifa Arweys for presenting at the ASEAN Workshop on Women and Children in the Context of Migration on May 26, 2022. Ms. Bintang is a student majoring in International Relations in the E-Track Program at Tokyo International University.

Ms. Bintang spoke on behalf of the United Nations Migration Youth and Children Platform (UNMYCP) - a network of young activists, NGOs, and youth-led organizations concerned about migration. The Workshop was part of a project under the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) Work Plan 2021-2025.

We are proud of Ms. Bintang's achievements and applaud her for her efforts to create a more just and inclusive world!

[Interview with Ms. Bintang]

Q1: Please tell us about yourself.
"I am an Indonesian grassroots student-activist, specialized in grassroots level engagement with young people and women in regards to peace building, migration, and gender equality. On a regional and global level, I engage with international NGOs as well as UN bodies, writing recommendations for ASEAN via the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Youth Partnership, participating in Youth Engagement and Empowerment (YEEP) with UNOCT, as well as speaking on the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development on the YEEP program. In my free time, I like to play crane games (even though I'm bad at it) and cuddle with my plushies!"

Q2: Please tell us more about this workshop and your role in it.
"ASEAN Workshops on Women and Children in the Context of Migration were organized in partnership with ACWC Thailand, the Australian Government and its ACTIP Implementation Project or AIP. They are implemented by the Asia Foundation, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office through the EU co-funded program "Protecting Children Affected by Migration in Southeast, South and Central Asia," the ASEAN Secretariat, and other relevant partners. The workshop aims to exchange knowledge and lessons learned on women and children migrants and those who are left by their migrating spouse or migrating parents. I became involved through my organization, MYCP (Migration Youth and Children Platform), which is a constituency of UN Major Group for Youth and Children. MYCP consists of organizations and individuals concerned with migration. Our objective is to advance and advocate GCM (Global Compact Migration) objectives, which includes ensuring the elimination of all forms of discrimination and providing basic services to migrants. MYCP does this through youth consultation with governments around the world, including states in Southeast Asia. Reports of youth consultations and recommendation can be found HERE."

Q3: Why did you choose to study International Relations at Tokyo International University? How would you describe your academic experience at TIU?
"I chose to study International Relations (IR) at TIU because of its international environment; not only in terms of students but also faculty members. I find it really refreshing to learn from professors that are born and/or raised in different places. I find my academic life challenging yet also very rewarding. The classes often challenge me to be more assertive and confident in my opinions and writings. I like that most IR classes are very interactive; you can ask or even debate the professors if you see fit. It is such a safe space that I feel like I can make mistakes and correct them without needing to feel ashamed. I think the assertiveness that I nurtured in classes help me in my endeavors and engagement with international and regional policy-making."

Q4: How is your student life at TIU?
"I enjoy my student life at TIU. I am part of the TIU Model United Nations club and I have made lifelong friends who are on the same boat academically and personally. I am also interning at the English Plaza on campus where I can meet a lot of students and organize fun events. I find it very rewarding and fun! My favorite thing to do at E-Plaza is playing charades with students."

Q5: What do you like most about Tokyo?
"I like the convenience of trains and public transportation in general. I can get anywhere easily. Tokyo has the best of both worlds; modern skyscrapers and tranquil shrines and temples. My favorite itinerary in Tokyo would include a visit to Meiji-Jingu in the afternoon and a picnic at Yoyogi park!"

Q6: What are your goals after graduating from TIU?
"I really wish to work for a non-profit or international organization, and in the future I wish to work for the United Nations. So far, I have been mostly an on-the-ground activist and I'm trying hard to nurture my love for writing and researching as it is very important in this field. Mostly, I want a seat at the table as a young woman."