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Know Your Rights: A Handbook for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

This handbook was initiated with the realization that rights are not readily accessible and being uphold for refugees and asylum seekers living in Indonesia. This result in precarious situation refugees and asylum seekers should face on daily basis.

Understanding the problem, SUAKA has been planning to develop a document that will help refugees and asylum seekers understand their rights and how to access it. Similar plans, fortunately, also emerge from fellow organizations who work to uphold refugees’ rights, Sandya Institute, UNHCR, and Jesuit Refugee Service. The organizations collaborated, giving their resources, time, and energy to engage in a series of discussions to understand what is relevant to ease the burden of refugees and asylum seekers living in Indonesia.

Upon our discussions, we agree that ten issues should be put forward. There are issues that we believe relevant but the limited time and resource pushed us to prioritize ten of them, with the determination to work on the rest as the document as our collaboration continues.

Legal reviews on current regulation were the starting point of our writing process, ensuring that the information is in line with Indonesia’s legal framework. We also consult the drafts with representatives from the government and the refugee community, an effort to confirm and elaborate the information we already had.

You can read the document partially as each chapter tries to address different issues. However, some chapter may intermingle as it is connected with each other. We will try to continuously update the information periodically, hoping that the document will be as resourceful as possible.

Lastly, we hope the book can help refugees and asylum seekers living in Indonesia to know their rights and how to access it. We realize that there is still plenty of homework to be done to ensure that refugees’ and asylum seekers’ rights are fulfilled. Further collaborations are still needed, not only with the organizations but also with the refugee communities and other stakeholders.

Unduh Know Your Rights: A Handbook for Refugees and Asylum Seekers dengan mengklik tautan di bawah ini (Download by clicking the link below)

Know Your Rights Handbook

Peringatan Hari HAM Sedunia 2018: Refugees Right Is Human Rights

No. 26/R/SUAKA-CPG/XII/2018

“Mainstreaming Refugee Rights on Human Rights Movement: Refugees Right Is Human Rights”

(english translation below)

(Jakarta, 10 Desember 2018) Diskusi dan peluncuran ‘Know Your Rights: A Handbook for Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ merupakan kegiatan dalam memperingati Hari Hak Asasi Manusia yang dilakukan oleh SUAKA (Jaringan Kerja Masyarakat Sipil Indonesia untuk Perlindungan Hak-hak Pengungsi) dan para mitra di Universitas Katholik Atma Jaya.

Konflik dan persekusi di dunia membuat warga negara meninggalkan negaranya dan mencari suaka di negara lain. Berbagai permasalahan kerap dihadapi pencari suaka dan pengungsi, bahkan saat di negara transit. Pelanggaran terhadap perlindungan dan pemenuhan hak pencari suaka dan pengungsi dapat terjadi karena ketidakpahaman pejabat pemerintah dalam menangani isu pengungsi. Selain itu, pencari suaka dan pengungsi tidak memahami atau bahkan tahu hak asasi yang mereka miliki.

“Untuk membantu pencari suaka dan pengungsi di Indonesia dalam memahami hak-haknya sesuai dengan hukum Indonesia, kami (SUAKA) membuat Know Your Rights: a Handbook for Refugees and Asylum Seekers yang dikerjakan bersama dengan Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Indonesia, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Jakarta, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) dan Sandya Institute”, ujar Febi Yonesta (Ketua SUAKA).

Terdapat 10 tema dalam handbook yaitu Seeking Asylum in Indonesia; Refugee Status Determination; Rights to Legal Counsel; Rights to Adequate Standard of Living; Rights to Health Services; Rights to Education; Freedom of Association; Rights to Birth Registration; Mixed Marriage; dan Detention and Freedom of Movement.

“Selain membantu pencari suaka dan pengungsi dalam memahami dan mengakses hak-haknya, kesepuluh tema tersebut diharapkan membantu pembuat kebijakan agar kebijakan yang dibuatnya lebih baik dan Indonesia siap menghadapi tantangan di isu ini”, tambahnya.

Tahun 2018 bertepatan dengan 70 tahun peringatan Deklarasi Universal Hak Asasi Manusia. Pemenuhan terhadap perlindungan hak asasi manusia tidak sedewasa umurnya, khususnya dalam isu pencari suaka dan pengungsi. ”Indonesia sebagai salah satu negara transit berkewajiban memberikan perlindungan dan pemenuhan hak asasi bagi pencari suaka dan pengungsi. Pemahaman terkait isu ini juga harus diperluas hingga menjadi diskusi di masyarakat agar mereka tidak awam dan dapat hidup berdampingan dengan pencari suaka dan pengungsi di Indonesia,” tutup Febi Yonesta.



No. 26/R/SUAKA-CPG/XII/2018

“Mainstreaming Refugee Rights on Human Rights Movement: Refugees Right Is Human Rights”

(Jakarta, 10 December 2018) The discussion and launching of ‘Know Your Rights: A Handbook for Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ is an activity to commemorate the Human Rights Day conducted by SUAKA (Indonesian Civil Society Working Network for the Protection of Refugee Rights) with its partners at Atma Jaya Catholic University.

Conflict and persecution in the world makes citizens leave their countries and seek asylum in other countries. Various problems are often faced by asylum seekers and refugees, even in transit countries. Violations of the protection and fulfillment of the rights of asylum seekers and refugees can occur due to lack of understanding of government officials in handling refugee issues. In addition, asylum seekers and refugees often do not understand or even aware the human rights they have.

“To assist asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia in understanding their rights in accordance with Indonesian law, we (SUAKA) made Know Your Rights: a Handbook for Refugees and Asylum Seekers that was done jointly with from Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Indonesia, Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Jakarta, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Sandya Institute, “said Febi Yonesta (Chair of SUAKA).

There are 10 themes in the handbook, namely Seeking Asylum in Indonesia; Refugee Status Determination; Rights to Legal Counsel; Rights to Adequate Standard of Living; Rights to Health Services; Rights to Education; Freedom of Association; Rights to Birth Registration; Mixed Marriage; and Detention and Freedom of Movement.

“In addition to helping asylum seekers and refugees in understanding and accessing their rights, the ten themes are expected to help policy makers so that the policies they make are better and Indonesia is ready to face challenges on this issue,” he added.

2018 coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The effort to meet the protection of human rights is not as mature as its age, especially in the issue of asylum seekers and refugees. “Indonesia as one of the transit countries is obliged to provide protection and fulfillment of human rights for asylum seekers and refugees. “Understanding of this issue must also be expanded to become a discussion in the community so that they are not lay and can coexist with asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia,” concluded Febi Yonesta.



Unduh rilis pers dengan meng-klik link di bawah (download this press release by clicking the link below):

SUAKA Press Release – Hari HAM 2018

Resettlement Information for Asylum Seeker and Refugee


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.



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.


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.


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:


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.


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


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 >>
  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:

Press Release SUAKA: Perintah Eksekutif Trump Januari 2017


(English version below or download english version here)


Perintah Eksekutif Trump: Contoh Buruk Bagi Perlindungan Pencari Suaka dan Pengungsi Lintas Batas

SUAKA kecewa dengan perintah Eksekutif Trump terkait perubahan sistem keimigrasian Amerika yang dikeluarkan pada Januari 2017 lalu dalam rangka penanggulangan terorisme dan keamanan nasional. SUAKA menilai bahwa kebijakan ini tidak tepat sasaran dan mengacaukan upaya global dalam pembagian tanggung jawab dan perlindungan internasional terhadap pengungsi lintas batas di saat genting, dimana saat ini setidaknya terdapat sekitar 21,3 juta pengungsi lintas batas di dunia yang terpaksa meninggalkan negara asalnya untuk mencari pertolongan.

Perintah Eksekutif Trump yang berkaitan dengan Pencari Suaka dan Pengungsi Lintas Batas antara lain pemberhentian program penerimaan Pengungsi Lintas Batas di Amerika selama 120 hari, dan mengurangi secara drastis penerimaan Pengungsi Lintas Batas di tahun 2017 ini dari jumlah 110.000 yang dijanjikan Mantan Presiden Barrack Obama menjadi 50.000 pengungsi. Perintah Eksekutif Trump juga menyatakan bahwa pengungsi lintas batas yang harus diprioritaskan adalah mereka yang mengalami persekusi berbasis agama, hanya jika agama yang dianut pengungsi tersebut adalah agama minoritas di Negaranya. Mengingat kembali bahwa Pengungsi Muslim yang merupakan korban persekusi dari 7 Negara akan dikecualikan dari prioritas penerimaan Pengungsi di Amerika, yaitu Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya dan Yemen. Trump juga menyatakan bahwa warga Negara Syria membahayakan Amerika Serikat dan maka dari itu, mereka dilarang untuk datang ke Amerika hingga pada waktu yang dianggap layak bagi Trump untuk menerima mereka kembali. Pernyataan ini merupakan pernyataan tanpa bukti. Tidak ada seorang pun dari lebih tiga juta pengungsi lintas batas yang datang ke Amerika melalui penempatan negara ketiga sejak pemberlakuannya pada tahun 1980 telah membunuh seseorang dalam aksi terorisme di Amerika.

“Kebijakan ini gagal melihat perbedaan antara penanggulangan terorisme dengan tanggung jawab internasional negara terhadap mereka yang mengalami persekusi dan penindasan”, ujar Febi Yonesta, chair SUAKA. Dengan mengakui kewajiban setiap negara untuk memerangi terorisme, pun ia tidak bisa diberhangus dengan cara mendiskriminasi maupun mengurangi tanggung jawab suatu negara pada mereka yang terpersekusi di negara lainnya. Kebijakan ini bahkan melanggar prinsip non diskriminasi dan non refoulement sebagaimana telah diakui dalam hukum internasional. Terlebih lagi Amerika Serikat juga telah meratifikasi Kovenan Internasional Hak Sipil dan Politik dan Konvensi Mengenai Status Pengungsi 1951, dimana kedua prinsip itu jelas tercantum di dalamnya.

Kebijakan ini merupakan contoh yang buruk dan tidak seharusnya diterapkan oleh negara manapun di dunia. Masalah pencari suaka dan pengungsi lintas batas merupakan femomena global yang pemecahannya merupakan tanggung jawab seluruh negara. Keikutsertaan setiap negara untuk memberikan perlindungan yang sesuai dengan standar hak asasi manusia bagi pencari suaka dan pengungsi, serta mendorong penyelesaian konflik di negara asal merupakan hal yang harus dilakukan.

Kebijakan ini tentunya memiliki dampak langsung bagi Indonesia. Berdasarkan data Komisariat Tinggi Perserikatan Bangsa-bangsa Urusan Pengungsi (UNHCR) pada Desember 2016, jumlah pencari suaka dan pengungsi lintas batas di Indonesia telah mencapai 14.405 dengan rincian 6.578 pencari suaka dan 7.827 pengungsi. Salah satu dampak Perintah Eksekutif Trump bagi Indonesia adalah  bahwa akan terjadi penumpukan Pengungsi lintas batas di Indonesia yang sedang menunggu penerimaan oleh Negara ketiga, layaknya Amerika. Selama tahun 2016, Amerika Serikat adalah Negara yang menerima Pengungsi lintas batas dari Indonesia terbanyak. Tercatat sejumlah 790 Pengungsi lintas batas diterima di Amerika Serikat selama tahun 2016, diikuti oleh Australia sebanyak 363 Pengungsi dan Canada sebanyak 95 Pengungsi. Indonesia merupakan Negara “transit” bagi Pencari Suaka dan Pengungsi lintas batas selama menunggu penerimaan dari Negara ketiga, hal ini dikarenakan Indonesia belum meratifikasi maupun menandatangani Konvensi 1951 tentang Status Pengungsi dan Protokol 1967.

Pemerintah Indonesia harus siap dengan dampak dari kebijakan tersebut, dan wajib mencari solusi permanen, selain menggantungkan diri dengan penempatan ke negara ketiga. Permasalahan Pencari Suaka dan Pengungsi lintas batas tidak semata-mata menunggu penantian penerimaan Negara ketiga, melainkan pemenuhan hak-hak dasar mereka selama proses tersebut berlangsung. Peningkatan perlindungan dan bantuan untuk kehidupan pencari suaka dan pengungsi sangat dibutuhkan, terutama ketidakpastian dan  pelanggaran hak asasi manusia berkepanjangan ketika berada di Indonesia. Hal ini sesuai dengan Kovenan Internasional Hak-hak Sipil dan Politik (ICCPR) dan Kovenan Internasional Hak-hak Ekonomi, Sosial dan Budaya (ICESCR) yang telah diratifikasi, ditandatangani dan bahkan diaksesi oleh Indonesia.

Berdasarkan uraian di atas, SUAKA mendesak Pemerintah Indonesia untuk:

  1. Menjamin pemenuhan hak asasi pencari suaka dan pengungsi lintas batas, termasuk memberikan akses terhadap hak-hak dasar selama mereka berada di Indonesia;
  2. Mencari solusi permanen bagi para pencari suaka dan pengungsi lintas batas di Indonesia, yang salah satunya dapat ditempuh dengan segera meratifikasi Konvensi 1951 tentang Status Pengungsi dan Protokol 1967; dan
  3. Mengajak dan mendorong dunia internasional, termasuk Amerika Serikat untuk bersama-sama menyelesaikan dan mengambil tanggung jawab dalam perlindungan pencari suaka dan pengungsi lintas batas dengan mengedepankan prinsip kemanusiaan dan hak asasi manusia.


  • Febi Yonesta (Chair SUAKA): 087870636308
  • Muhammad Hafiz (Koordinator Advokasi SUAKA): 081282958035



Trump’s Executive Order: Bad Example in Protecting Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Disappointment arises from SUAKA towards Trump’s Executive Order which was put forth in January 2017 regarding the changes in United States’ immigration system. The order enforced was expected to counter terrorism and to increase national security in United States. SUAKA deems this order not suitable to the context at hand, as well as it’s disrupting global efforts in the division of responsibilities and international protection towards refugees in dire condition, whereas the amount of refugee escaping their countries of origin to seek help has been accumulated to 21,3 million.

Trump’s Executive Order is linked towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the following aspects: The suspension of Refugees admission into United States for 120 days and reduction of Refugees admission in 2017 from 110.000 Refugees as promised by former President Barrack Obama to 50.000 Refugees. The executive order has also stated that Refugees under the claim of religion based persecution will be prioritized, only if the religion they profess is the minority religion in their own respective countries. Recalling that Muslim Refugees who were persecuted in 7 specific countries will be excluded from the prioritized admission, namely Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. Trump also declared that Syria’s citizens are detrimental to the interest of United States, thus they are banned indefinitely to travel to United States until Trump decided to revoke this ban. This declaration is made without any evidence. Since 1980, there is no one out of more than 3 million refugees who were resettled in United States that has been participating in killing people during the terrorism act conducted in America.

“This order has failed to perceive the differences between countering terrorism and State’s international responsibilities towards those who are persecuted and suppressed”, said Febi Yonesta, Chair of SUAKA. Acknowledging that one of State’s responsibilities is to fight terrorism, yet this order is not eligible to be the reason for a State to discriminate or even lessen its responsibilities in protecting those who are persecuted in their country of origin. Moreover, this order has violated the non-discrimination and non-refoulment principle as acknowledged in international law. The irony is that United States had ratified International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, all of which recognized the aforementioned principles.

Trump’s order is a bad example and must not be applied to any Country in the world. The problem of Asylum Seekers and Refugees is a global phenomenon and all Countries are liable to contribute in solving the problem. Each Country’s participation in providing protection under the human rights’ standard for Asylum Seekers and Refugees, as well as urging the conflict resolution in the relevant Countries are imperative.

This order certainly has direct effects towards Indonesia. By the data of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2016, the amount of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Indonesia have reached 14.405, with the details of 6.578 Asylum Seekers and 7.827 Refugees. One of the order’s impact to Indonesia is that an accumulation of Refugees in Indonesia will massively stack, taking into account that they are waiting for resettlement by the Third Country, such as United States. Throughout 2016, United States had admitted the highest number of Refugees from Indonesia. 790 Refugees had been resettled to United States, followed by 363 Refugees to Australia and 95 Refugees to Canada. Indonesia is the “transit” Country for Asylum Seekers and Refugees while waiting to be resettled, since Indonesia has not ratified the 1951 Convention not the Protocol 1967.

Indonesian government must be prepared to face the impact of the executive order, as well as finding the permanent solution to this matter other than depending to Third Country resettlement. The problem of Asylum Seekers and Refugees is not merely in the resettlement process, but also the fulfillment of their basic rights during the process. Escalation of protection and aid towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees is gravely required, notably the legal uncertainty and continuous human rights violation during their stay in Indonesia. This fulfillment of their basic rights is stipulated under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), of which Indonesia is signatory and on top of that, they have been ratified and adopted in its domestic law.

Build upon the argumentations above mentioned, SUAKA urges Indonesian government to:

  1. Guarantee the fulfillment of the rights of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Indonesia, including providing the access to their basic rights during their stay in Indonesia;
  2. Find the permanent solution to Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Indonesia, one of which is by promptly ratifying 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugee and Protocol 1967; and
  3. Persuade and encourage all International Stakeholders (Countries), including United States to collectively solve and take responsibilities in protecting Asylum Seekers and Refugees by accentuating humanitarian principles and honoring human rights.

Contact Person:

  • Febi Yonesta (Chair SUAKA): 087870636308
  • Muhammad Hafiz (Advocacy Coordinator of SUAKA): 081282958035

Press Release SUAKA: Perpres RI no.125/2016 tentang Penanganan Pengungsi Dari Luar Negeri

English version below

Jakarta, 18 Januari 2017

Press Release SUAKA
“PERPRES Perlindungan Pengungsi Harus Menjawab Permasalahan Utama Pengungsi/Pencari Suaka di Indonesia”

Pada 31 Desember 2016, Pemerintah Indonesia mengesahkan Peraturan Presiden (Perpres) Republik Indonesia Nomor 125 Tahun 2016 Tentang Penanganan Pengungsi Dari Luar Negeri. Menurut SUAKA, jaringan masyarakat sipil Indonesia untuk perlindungan hak pengungsi, penerbitan Perpres merupakan sebuah kemajuan setelah lama direncanakan sejak tahun 2010. Secara normatif, PERPRES ini mengisi kekosongan hukum pengaturan pengungsi dan pencari suaka di Indonesia yang ditegaskan di dalam Pasal 28G UUD dan Pasal 25 – 27 UU No. 37 Tahun 1999 Tentang Hubungan Luar Negeri.

Febi Yonesta, Chair SUAKA, menegaskan bahwa Perpres ini harus menjadi rujukan bagi setiap pejabat Pemerintah di Indonesia dalam hal penanganan pencari suaka atau pengungsi. “Selama ini, Pemerintah di tingkat bawah atau daerah seringkali gamang menyikapi para pengungsi atau pencari suaka di Indonesia, terutama ketika pencari suaka ini datang ke perairan Indonesia secara tiba-tiba,” ujar Febi. Karena tidak adanya aturan yang jelas ini, menurut Febi, pendekatan yang seringkali digunakan adalah pendekatan keamanan yang justru menambah kerentanan para pencari suaka.
“Namun saat ini, berdasarkan Perpres, sudah dibentuk koordinasi dan fungsi yang jelas di Pemerintahan apabila mendapati keberadaan pengungsi baik di laut maupun di darat,” demikian lanjutnya.

Menurut SUAKA, yang terpenting dari Perpres ini adalah implementasi yang sangat terkait dengan pemahaman dan kemampuan aparat di lapangan untuk menjalankannya. Selama ini, dalam penanganan pengungsi dan pencari suaka, mereka dipandang secara negatif sebagai imigran gelap atau illegal.

“Kami mengapresiasi Perpres ini karena mengadopsi definisi pengungsi yang ada dalam Konvensi 1951, yang mana definisi tersebut berbeda dengan definisi imigran ilegal,” ujar Muhammad Hafiz, Koordinator Advokasi SUAKA dan Direktur Eksekutif HRWG. “Yang dibutuhkan kemudian adalah; semua instansi pemerintah terkait harus pula mengadopsi definisi yang sama dalam peraturan-peraturan yang dikeluarkan sehingga dapat memperlakukan pengungsi dan pencari suaka dengan baik,” imbuhnya.

Lebih lanjut, Hafiz menegaskan bahwa dalam penerapannya ke depan Perpres ini harus memasukkan prinsip hak asasi manusia yang ada di dalam Kovenan Internasional, seperti Sipil dan Politik (ICCPR), Ekonomi Sosial-Budaya (ICESCR), maupun Konvensi internasional lain yang sudah diratifikasi oleh Pemerintah Indonesia.
“Perpres ini pilihan politik Indonesia saat ini untuk tidak dulu meratifikasi Konvensi dan Protokol Pengungsi/Pencari Suaka. Konsekuensinya, PERPRES ini juga harus dijalankan sesuai dengan Konvensi Pengungsi 1951 dan Protokolnya untuk memenuhi dan menjamin hak-hak pencari suaka atau pengungsi di Indonesia,” demikian ditegaskan Hafiz.

Untuk efektif dijalankan, SUAKA mendorong Pemerintah melakukan diseminasi dan sosialisasi lebih lanjut tentang Perpres ini ke instansi pemerintah daerah, terutama yang selama ini dekat dengan permasalahan pengungsi, seperti Aceh, Makassar, Medan, Tanjung Pinang, Kupang, dan Jawa Barat. Hal ini penting agar Pemda membuka diri dan wilayahnya, serta dapat memberikan penanganan pengungsi dengan baik, terutama bagi kelompok rentan.

Secara substansi, SUAKA memberikan apresiasi terhadap Perpres ini karena di dalamnya telah cukup lengkap melindungi hak-hak pengungsi dan pencari suaka, di antaranya adalah adanya perhatian khusus untuk kaum rentan yang berada dalam kondisi darurat di laut dan darat, sakit, hamil, difabel, anak, dan lanjut usia; memberikan pengakuan untuk penyatuan keluarga; kejelasan definisi pengungsi; distribusi peran antar lembaga dan prinsip berbagi tanggung jawab; dan penggunaan APBN untuk perlindungan pengungsi.
Jakarta, 17 Januari 2017

– Febionesta (Chair Suaka): 087870636308
– Muhammad Hafiz (Koordinasi Advokasi SUAKA): 081282958035


Press Release SUAKA
PERPRES – Refugee Protection Must Answer Key Issues Regarding Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Indonesia

The Government of Indonesia has passed Presidential Decree (Perpres) 31 December 2016: ”Republic of Indonesia Presidential Decree 125/2016 regarding Refugees from Abroad”.
SUAKA; Indonesian Civil Society Network for Refugee Rights Protection, welcomes this Presidential Decree (Perpres), which has been planned since 2010. This regulation fills a legal vacuum which has long affected asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia. It confirms Article 28G of the Indonesian Constitution, and Article 25 – 27 of Law No. 37 of 1999 on Foreign Relations.

Febi Yonesta, Chair of SUAKA, confirmed that this regulation should become the key regulation and reference for all Indonesian government officials in relation to the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees within Indonesian jurisdiction.

“Before this regulation, government officials, especially junior officials and officials in outlying areas, were hesitant to address issues affecting asylum seekers and refugees, including the arrival of asylum seekers by boat into Indonesian waters,” said Febi. “Due to the absence of regulation their approach was often protectionist, which increases the vulnerability of people seeking asylum from war, persecution and mistreatment.” he said.
“Based on the Perpres, there is now an established coordination and a clear function by Government in relation to the treatment of asylum seekers, no matter the mode of their arrival,” he continued.

According to SUAKA, the implementation of this Perpres will increase understanding among government officials, and in turn increase the ability of officers in the field to implement the Perpres. Previously, asylum seekers and refugees were often viewed as illegal immigrants or illegals,a negative term which is not legally accurate.

“We appreciate that this new Perpres confirms the definition of refugees contained in the 1951 Refugee Convention, and does not continue to label asylum seekers as illegal immigrants,” said Muhammad Hafiz, SUAKA Advocacy Coordinator, and Executive Director Human Rights Working Group Indonesia (HRWG).
“All relevant government agencies should immediately adopt the Perpres definition, so as to treat asylum seekers and refugees as regulated under Indonesian law.” he added.

Hafiz further asserted that Indonesia should additionally ensure human rights principles contained in International Conventions are incorporated into any future regulation, such as prinicples contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and other International Conventions ratified by the Indonesian Government.
“Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or 1967 Refugee Protocol. Consequently, Perpres should be carried out in accordance with the convention and protocol, to ensure the rights of asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia are guaranteed,” affirmed Hafiz.

SUAKA encourages the Indonesian Government to disseminate the Perpres widely and provide training to local government agencies across Indonesia, in order to ensure effectiveness and compliance. Especially in areas where asylum seekers and refugees are held in detention or live in the community, such as Aceh, Makassar, Medan, Tanjung Pinang, Kupang and West Java, SUAKA believes it is important regional government officials understand the reasons why this Perpres was entered, in order to ensure this very vulnerable group will be treated according to basic human rights.

SUAKA is appreciative of the work of Indonesian government departments to implement the Perpres, as it is already complete enough to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

SUAKA urges the government to be especially aware and concerned in regards to vulnerable people in emergency situations at sea, and to asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia who are are experiencing serious and ongoing medical issues, are pregnant, live with a disability, minors under the age of 18 years, especially minors who are separated from their family, and also the elderly.

SUAKA also urges the Indonesian government to recognise and implement: the right to family unity; a clear definition of a refugee under Indonesian law; a fair distribution of supportive roles between institutions under the principle of shared responsibility; and the use of the Indonesian state finances to promote refugee protection.

Jakarta, January 18, 2017

For further comment contact:
– Febionesta (Chair SUAKA): 087 870 636 308
– Muhammad Hafiz (Advocacy Coordinator SUAKA): 081 282 958 035