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Posts from the ‘Opinion’ Category

World Refugee Day 2020: Fighting Exclusion Through Social Cohesion

by Julio Achmadi, SUAKA member, Legal Empowerment Coordinator

Originally posted in his blog: https://julioachmadi.blogspot.com/2020/06/world-refugee-day-2020-fighting-exclusion.html

Over the past few years of my experience working in refugee related issue, social exclusion seems to be one of the root causes of discrimination against refugees in Indonesia. With almost 14.000 refugees and asylum seekers, Indonesia should take a lead in Southeast Asia to include refugee in creating collaborations and programs to improve national welfare.

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Storybook for Children on COVID-19

This book was a project developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC MHPSS RG). The project was supported by global, regional and country based experts from Member Agencies of the IASC MHPSS RG, in addition to parents, caregivers, teachers and children in 104 countries. A global survey was distributed in Arabic, English, Italian, French and Spanish to assess children’s mental health and psychosocial needs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The e-book can be downloaded, by clicking here: My Hero is You, how kids can fight COVID-19

A framework of topics to be addressed through the story was developed using the survey results. The book was shared through storytelling to children in several countries affected by COVID-19. Feedback from children, parents and caregivers was then used to review and update the story.

Over 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world took the time to share with us how they were coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. A big thank you to these children, their parents, caregivers and teachers for completing our surveys and influencing this story. This is a story developed for and by children around the world.

This IASC MHPSS RG acknowledge Helen Patuck for writing the story script and illustrating this book.

©IASC, 2020. This publication was published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/igo). Under the terms of this license, you may reproduce, translate and adapt this Work for non-commercial purposes, provided the Work is appropriately cited.

Coronavirus and Refugee

Coronavirus and Refugee

Written by Julio Achmadi. Member of SUAKA, Coordinator of Legal Empowerment.

“At least 34 of the 114 countries affected by coronavirus outbreak are hosts to refugee populations, including Indonesia. Based on UNHCR Indonesia’s statistics in November 2019, Indonesia is a host of 13,693 asylum seekers and refugees (ASR), 28% of which are children and 2% elderly. ASR community in Indonesia is one of the most vulnerable, if not the most, to coronavirus.

Their vulnerability level is much higher due to their handicaps living in Indonesia. There are very limited resources allocated by the government for ASR community in general, there’s no protection of basic rights by the law, and no dissemination from the government on the virus outbreak to the ASR community.

ASR in Indonesia also face a problem in understanding actual situation on coronavirus because of the language barrier, thus violating their right to access to information. With no right to work, ASR communities in Indonesia might not be able to afford nutritional foods and sanitary products to protect them from the infectious disease. As of now, ASR community and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have been doing the work in translating information on coronavirus from various sources of languages to the ones understandable by refugees.”

Read the full article to see what types of solution that can be offered, short and long term, by following this link: https://en.tempo.co/read/1326578/coronavirus-and-refugee

‘Impossible to self-isolate,’ Refugees in Indonesia Fear Coronavirus Outbreak

COMMENT: ‘Impossible to self-isolate,’ Refugees in Indonesia fear coronavirus outbreak.

Written by JN Joniad.

He is a Rohingya refugee living in Indonesia after attempting to flee Myanmar for Australia in 2013. He is now witnessing Indonesia’s large refugee and asylum seeker population battle with the coronavirus pandemic.

“For thousands of refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia, it is impossible to keep any social distance.

There are over 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers living in limbo in Indonesia, with thousands having fled their country to seek refuge in Australia, only to be stranded there in transit. They are now at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19.  

In Jakarta, many refugees and asylum seekers share rooms and cramped apartments. Those in International Organisation for Migration (IOM) accommodation and camps live in overcrowded conditions. 

It is almost impossible for them to practice social distancing. With no basic rights to work, travel and use public health services, refugees and asylum seekers are further marginalised and the most vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus. “

Read the full article in https://www.sbs.com.au/news/dateline/comment-impossible-to-self-isolate-refugees-in-indonesia-fear-coronavirus-outbreak

Disclaimer: The views, information, or opinions expressed in the article above are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent official views nor stance those of Perkumpulan SUAKA members. SUAKA is not responsible and does not verify for accuracy any of the information contained in the article above. The primary purpose of sharing the article above is to inform and provide alternative perspectives, with the end goal to provide comprehensive and holistic solutions for refugee rights protection.

Protection for refugees in Indonesia: A state responsibility

Refugees in Indonesia have staged many rallies this year. The street hosting the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Indonesia, Jl. Kebon Sirih in Central Jakarta, was filled with refugees, requesting protection and a solution to their situation living in limbo for years, particularly from June to August.

Refugee migration is increasing worldwide as a result of civil wars and internal conflicts in various parts of the world. The UN estimates that as of last June, Indonesia had been a host to almost 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Myanmar, Sudan, etc.

Indonesia has a responsibility as a state in providing protection for refugees and asylum seekers. Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. However, is being signatory to the aforementioned conventions the only pre-requisite for a state in providing protection for refugees in Indonesia?

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