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Posts from the ‘Information for Asylum Seekers’ Category

Resettlement Information for Asylum Seeker and Refugee

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This information will help you to answer frequently asked questions specifically on resettlement, and durable solutions in general.This page is for information purposes only. It is not legal advice.

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FACTS:

SUAKA is unable to assist with or give advice regarding resettlement to a Third Country. The decision to accept a refugee for resettlement is made by the resettlement country.

Less than 5% of the worldwide refugee population will be offered resettlement. This means less than 1 in every 200 people.

Resettlement is not a right. Resettlement is not an obligation of other countries. Countries that have signed the International Refugee Convention do not have to offer resettlement.

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Durable solutions

There are three official durable solutions for someone who has been recognized as a refugee by UNHCR.

  1. Resettlement to a Third Country that accepts refugees from UNHCR;
  2. Integration with local population of the Country they were found to be a refugee in;
  3. Repatriation to Country of Origin – if the risk of persecution is no longer present.

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Resettlement to a Third Country

Resettlement can be formally made only to a Country which is a party to the United Nations Refugee Convention. Indonesia has not signed the Refugee Convention.

Once an asylum seeker is recognized as a refugee, and if they meet resettlement criteria, a refugee may be asked to attend UNHCR for a resettlement interview. After this, their basic information may be sent to the embassy of resettlement Countries. The resettlement Country does not receive your complete file, only basic information along with an application from UNHCR, called a ‘Resettlement Registration Form (RRF).

Under UNHCR guidelines, and the policies of resettlement countries, resettlement priority is given to persons who are most vulnerable – those with serious medical conditions, unaccompanied children, women at risk, etc. Waiting is very difficult, but there are only a very small number of resettlement places and a very very large number of people waiting to be resettled.

The decision to resettle a refugee is made by the resettlement Country only. Not by UNHCR. The resettlement Country will consider applications made by UNHCR, in line with their Countries resettlement and humanitarian policies.

The time provided by each Country to consider a resettlement request depends on many factors, including each Countries resettlement and humanitarian policies, and the number of refugees the Country offers to resettle every year. Quotas for each Country may change from year to year, depending on the policies of that country.

Neither SUAKA nor UNHCR is not able to give a timeline for resettlement. We cannot give a timeline for how long it will take a resettlement Country to reply once a resettlement application has been made.

SUAKA cannot assist with resettlement applications. If you believe you may meet vulnerability guidelines please email us a copy of your refugee card and explain why you think you are at increased risk and require resettlement. Email:  suaka.legalaid@gmail.com

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Intergration with local population.

Currently, Indonesia is not signatory to the International Refugee Convention and cannot officially accept refugees for permanent resettlement.

Many refugees may be in Indonesia for a long time, many years, and informally integrate into Indonesia by getting to know their Indonesian neighbours and taking part in day to day life in their community.

At this point in time, refugees in Indonesia do not have the right to work. Refugee children do have a right to education however in practice, language, cultural barriers and costs often make attending school very difficult.

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Repatriation/voluntary repatriation.

If UNHCR decides a country is safe for return, refugees from that country living in Indonesia may be repatriated back to their home country. This process is complex and does not occur very often.

A refugee may also make the decision to return to their home country voluntarily. UNHCR will consider all of the available information and make a decision whether it is safe for the refugee to return. If it is, UNHCR partners such as IOM (International Organisation for Migration) will assist to organize your return. If UNHCR does not think it is safe they will be unable to assist the refugee to return. The refugee may still decide to return on their own without the assistance of UNHCR.

The UNHCR resettlement handbook is available HERE http://www.unhcr.org/protection/resettlement/4a2ccf4c6/unhcr-resettlement-handbook-country-chapters.html

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What else can you do?

 Suaka continues to campaign in Indonesia for work rights for refugees. Many organizations around the world campaign in their own country for their governments to increase resettlement places.  You can support our campaign, and also ask any friends in Indonesia and other countries to support Suaka so we can continue to advocate for refugees.

  1. Learn Indonesian language (Bahasa Indonesia). It will help you communicate with people in your local area. If your children can become fluent in Indonesian it will help them to get a chance to be place in a local school.
  1. If you are a university graduate, research student scholarships in other countries. There are more universities offering scholarships for refugees now. For example, Kiron University in Germany accepts asylum seekers and refugees as online students. Check >> https://www.goethe.de/en/kul/wis/20668117.html
  1. If you have family members in countries where refugees are resettled, ask them to go to a refugee legal clinic or other place that gives legal advice and ask if they can sponsor you to come to their country.
Picture credit: http://www.resettlement.eu/page/volunteering-refugee-resettlement-0

Self Help Kit: Reopening on UNHCR Refugee Status Determination

Information on UNHCR Reopening process.

Due to a large number of people requesting legal aid, Suaka is unable to meet with you until you have done your best to provide these things. If you cannot read and write please speak with other members of your community and ask them to help you write your statement.

This page is for information only. It is not legal advice.

Please find information about Suaka’s services below:

SUAKA’s legal advisors are trained volunteers, they receive no payment.
SUAKA’s legal services are free. If anyone in your community asks for money to help you speak to us this is wrong.
SUAKA’s legal services are confidential – we do not share your information with any other organization.
SUAKA is independent from UNHCR, IOM, Immigration, Police and Government.
SUAKA’s legal advisors are not able to influence UNHCR’s decisions. We cannot guarantee your application will succeed. We cannot make your application proceed more quickly.
SUAKA provides legal assistance only in relation to UNHCR applications for asylum (Refugee Status Determination – RSD).
SUAKA can provide limited information about the resettlement process but cannot assist with resettlement or sponsorship
SUAKA cannot provide material, financial or other assistance.
SUAKA’s Legal Aid Services are provided in accordance with the Nairobi Code.
SUAKA’s Volunteer Legal Advisors follow SUAKA Legal Aid Services Code of Conduct.

UNHCR request to Reopen your file.

If you have already been considered and refused refugee status after your first interview with UNHCR, and your appeal has also been considered and refused, UNHCR will close your file. They will not issue another asylum seeker certificate.

Suaka has a Self Help Kit (SHK) with information that may help you decide whether you want to submit a reopening request to UNHCR. Only around 5% of reopening requests are successful.

Suaka does not have enough lawyers to assist with reopening requests to UNHCR. You must write a statement to UNHCR yourself so you should read the SHK very carefully.

Download the Reopening Self Help Kit by clicking here

SHKs are only available in English for now. They will soon be available in Farsi, Dari, Arabic, Tamil, Urdu, Oromo, Bahasa Indonesia.

The Reopening Self Help Kit includes important information.
The Reopening Self Help Kit will:

  • Explain the definition and criteria needed to become a refugee. It will help you understand whether you are a refugee under international law
  • Explain UNHCR’s process – how they recognize applicants as “refugees” and help you understand why your file was rejected and closed
  • Help you decide whether you should write a statement to request UNHCR reopen your file. Not all asylum seekers decide to write a statement and request UNHCR to reopen their file.
  • Help you decide whether you should write a statement to request UNHCR reopen your file. Not all asylum seekers decide to write a statement and request UNHCR to reopen their file.
  • Help you understand what information you should include in your reopening statement and how to write this – what it should look like.

There are only very limited reasons UNHCR will agree to reopen a file after they have already considered it twice. More information about this is on page 3 of SUAKA’s Reopening Self Help Kit.

After reading SUAKA’s Self Help Kit, if you decide to write to UNHCR about a reopening, it will take UNHCR a very long time to consider your request. It can take more than 12 or 18 months to receive a reply.

While you are waiting, you will not receive a new asylum seeker certificate and will not be under the protection of the UNHCR in Indonesia. There is nothing Suaka can do to make this process happen more quickly.

There is no deadline to submit a reopening request to UNHCR.

If you decide to write a reopening request, SUAKA legal aid can meet with you once to give advice on your statement.

Before we can help with you, you must email suaka.legalaid@gmail.com the following things:

  1. Copy of asylum seeker certificate for every member of your family
  2. Copies of both rejection letters you have recieved from UNHCR – First instance and Appeal.
  3. Copy of the appeal you wrote and submitted to UNHCR
  4. Your reopening statement
  5. Your contact phone number

You may also message Suaka legal aid on Whatsapp or Viber 0852 1350 8445

How to Prepare Your RSD Interview (2)

The purpose of the interview is for the UNHCR to decide if you are a refugee under the 1951 Convention or the extended mandate definition. Here’s some suggestion that you may take in order to prepare your interview with UNHCR; Read more

How to Prepare Your RSD Interview (1)

The purpose of the interview is for the UNHCR to decide if you are a refugee under the 1951 Convention or the extended mandate definition. Here’s some suggestion that you may take in order to prepare your interview with UNHCR; Read more

Summary Definition of Refugee

Under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the definition could be simplified in a bullet point below;

 The definition of refugee under the 1951 Convention is;

  1. A person who is outside his/her country of nationality (or habitual residence if have no nationality),
  2. Who is unable or (owing to his or her fear) unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country (ie to return there),
  3. Because of a ‘well-founded’ fear;
    1. Subjective element – he/she must be afraid
    2. Objective element – there must be evidence from his/her country (eg newspaper articles, ngo reports, un reports) that shows that he/she has a good reason to be afraid
  4. Of persecution (eg threat to life or freedom or other serious violations of human rights),
  5. Based on;
    • Race (includes ethnic group),
    • Religion,
    • Nationality (ethnic or linguistic group),
    • Political opinion, or
    • Membership of a particular social group (usually persons of similar background, habits or social status, often with a characteristic which is innate, unchangeable or fundamental).

Read more