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Posts from the ‘Information for Public’ 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
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Supporting System of Refugee and Asylum Seekers in Indonesia

Lack of Support Services

The limited capacity of UNHCR in Indonesia to deal with increasing numbers of asylum seekers and low resettlement places leads to significant waiting periods. The lack of information and assistance available to asylum seekers and refugees to support themselves and their families leads to frustration and desperation for many people of concern. Read more

Legal Framework and Role of UNHCR to RSD

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There are several factors that result in refugees and asylum seekers being denied effective protection in Indonesia. These factors include lack of legal protection, long waiting periods for permanent resettlement, limited basic livelihood support (housing, healthcare, education, and work rights) and inhumane conditions in detention centres.

Despite the significant risks arising from travelling in people smugglers’ boats to Australia, the circumstances facing refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia often lead people to make a dangerous decision.

Since 2011, government of Indonesia is in favor to develop Presidential Regulation on Handling Refugee and Asylum Seeker or Peraturan Presiden (Perpres) tentang Penanganan Orang Asing Pencari Suaka dan Pengungsi.  According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in early 2015, the Perpres will be attached with the Integrated Fixed Procedure, or Prosedur Tetap Terpadu, on Handling Refugee and Asylum Seeker. But, up until now, the Perpres is not yet adopted. Read more

Why We are Here

Asylum seekers and refugees transiting through or living temporarily in Indonesia come from all over the world. Continuing persecution and escalating violence in countries of origin, as well as a limited number of countries offering a durable solution, has seen a steady increase in the number of asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia. In May 2015, UNHCR reported that 13,138 people are currently registered asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia. This is an increase of 4,000 people since September 2014 and does not include the influx of Rohingya refugees(approximately 2,000)  who arrived during May 2015.[1] Read more

Terminologi Pengungsi di Indonesia

[English Translation Below]

Menurut Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa (PBB) mengenai Konvensi tahun 1951 tentang Status Pengungsi (Konvensi Pengungsi), definisi Pengungsi adalah:

“Seseorang yang karena ketakutan (yang beralasan) akan dianiaya dikarenakan oleh ras, agama, kebangsaan, keanggotaan pada kelompok sosial tertentu atau karena pendapat politiknya dan berada di luar negaranya dan tidak dapat atau, karena kecemasan tersebut tidak mampu mengupayakan perlindungan dari negaranya atau mereka yang tidak memiliki kewarganegaraan dan berada di luar negara bekas tempat tinggalnya sebagai akibat dari alasan-alasan di atas, tidak dapat atau karena ketakutan tersebut, dia tidak dapat (tidak mau) kembali ke negaranya.” (Pasal 1A)

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