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
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.
The Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APPRN) has prepared the Asia Pacific NGO Statement for the UNHCR 59th Standing Committee, held on 4-6 March 2014.
The key sections of the statement are set out below.