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Jakarta Post

Hosting refugees: Beyond a transit nation

  • Christian Donny Putranto
    Christian Donny Putranto

    Holds a Master of Laws ( human rights) degree from the University of Melbourne and was an Australia Awards scholar

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 20, 2017   /  01:36 pm
Hosting refugees: Beyond a transit nation A refuge rally in front of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) office in Jakarta, February 6 2017. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Indonesia has hosted thousands of refugees and asylum seekers ( jointly referred to as “refugees”) for many years. We have traditionally been known as a transit country for refugees from the Southeast Asian region and beyond. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has recorded an estimated 14,000 refugees residing in Indonesia, from countries in the region such as Myanmar, and outside of the region such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Iran. The Indonesian government protects refugees by only deporting them if their asylum claims are rejected by the UNHCR, who carry out the processing of refugees. Furthermore, the government only allows the temporary presence of refugees in the country and does not allow them to work or study. In short, Indonesia aims to maintain its status as a transit country and wants to deter refugees from entering Indonesia. Nevertheless, in the wake of the c...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.