Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘asylum seeker’

Pathways to Refugee Wellbeing, Research on Asylum Seeker and Refugee in Indonesia

Who is conducting this study?

  • The Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, is working with HOST International, SUAKA and Universitas Gadjah Mada to conduct this study.

Why is the study important?

  • We want to learn about the experiences of refugees, and what kinds of things affect their wellbeing.
  • This will help us understand how refugees cope in their everyday life.
  • This knowledge will help to provide better support for refugees in a similar situation around the world.

Who can take part in this study?

  • Refugee and asylum-seeker adults (18 years +), who are eligible to participate.
  • As the surveys are on-line, you can take part in this study no matter where you live, as long as you have access to the internet. The surveys are in English, Arabic, Farsi, Dari, and Somali.
  • To take part in this study, you will need an email address. If you do not have an email address, you can get one here: (Gmail registration) One person can only use one email address.

What does the study involve?

  • First, we will ask you to register your interest in participating in this study, on our website.
  • Second, we will check if you are eligible to participate.
  • If you are eligible, and you agree to participate in the study, we will invite you to complete an online survey 4 times over 18 months.
  • The questions are about yourself, your experiences, your thoughts and feelings, and about the relationships you have with other people.
  • Each survey takes about one hour to complete.
  • To thank you for sharing your experiences, we will reimburse eligible participants for your time with an Indomaret voucher worth IDR 100,000 after you complete each survey.

What will happen to the information you collect from me?

  • All information provided by participants is highly confidential and is only accessed by the
    research team.
  • Only the UNSW research team and the HOST International Research Coordinator will have access to your personal information (e.g. contact details), so we can contact you for future time points.
  • Your information will not be shared with any service providers, UNHCR, or any
    governments.
  • These details will be stored separately from your survey responses.
  • Participating in this study will not affect the UNHCR process and the resettlement process.
  • You can choose to receive regular updates about the study in your own language.

Follow this link to register: www.rtrp-research.com/pathways-to-refugee-wellbeing-indonesia

 

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?

As a member of the UN, Indonesia is signatory to eight core international human rights conventions, some of which have been adopted in domestic regulations. Apart from international conventions, Presidential Regulation 125/2016 on the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia has acknowledged and recognized refugees in a national legal context, even though protection clauses are lacking within the said regulation.

Ratifying an international convention may require the state to do more work, but further research is needed on the potential impacts on the state’s readiness in adhering to the international standards of human rights fulfillment, among other things. What are the current solutions for refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia?

The UN cites three main durable solutions: assisted voluntary repatriation, resettlement and integration with the local community. The first choice is hardly a possible option as the conflicts in refugees’ country of origin rarely subside; while the non-refoulement principle under international customary law considers making refugees return to their own country and endangering their safety a breach of international law. Resettlement, which is highly hoped by refugees as the best solution for them, also does not seem possible with the rise of extreme nationalism, Islamophobia and resistance from countries such as Australia, the United States as well as European countries who used to accept refugees from Indonesia.

This situation leaves us with the third option. As a non-signatory member of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its Optional Protocol of 1967, the government might say integration with the local community is not a possible option. However, integration is inevitable between the refugee community and Indonesian society. The refugees have already started integrating in society ever since they arrived on Indonesian soil.

Ending the conflicts in the respective countries would be a utopic solution for refugee migration in general. With a minimum chance of going back to their countries and being resettled, living in limbo for more than eight years as the average waiting time to be resettled, has greatly affected the mental health of refugees in Indonesia. Assuming the average waiting time is lengthened due to the minimal successful resettlement cases and steady influx of refugees into Indonesia, the government must start preparing for the unavoidable consequences of the current situation by starting to provide basic rights to refugees and legal recognition.

In India, Tibetan refugees’ right to residency is contingent upon a Registration Certificate (RC) which is a legal document issued by Indian authorities, equivalent to an identity card. RC issuance to Tibetans started in 1956 when the Dalai Lama was exiled, followed by a mass exodus of Tibetan refugees into India. RCs are valued as they allow Tibetans to legally travel and work within the country, serving as an identity document and a prerequisite for an Identity Certificate. Although currently, the process to acquire an RC is arduous, the legal recognition remains clear for Tibetans in India.

In 2000, Malaysia as the host of more than 150,000 refugees and asylum seekers provided nonrenewable six-month work permits for Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. In 2015, Malaysia had considered in multiple cases the creation of temporary work permits. The permits were supposed to benefit Rohingya refugees to be legally employed in Malaysia, though the plan did not materialize.

Indonesia’s government can learn from the practices in India and Malaysia as progressive commitments from states who are not signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. For instance, Indonesia can create a Kartu Izin Tinggal Sementara untuk Pengungsi (Refugee Temporary Stay Permit Card) or collaborate in partnerships with local and international agencies to establish livelihood opportunities.

Indonesia has to adopt long-term strategies rather than ad-hoc policies to prevent a bottleneck in providing legal recognition as well as sufficient protection for refugees and asylum seekers.

________
by Julio Castor, Human rights lawyer and member of SUAKA, an association advocating protection for asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia.

This article originally appeared on The Jakarta Post, link below:

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/10/10/protection-refugees-indonesia-a-state-responsibility.html

Rilis Pers SUAKA: Reputasi Indonesia Di Ambang Batas

Unduh rilis pers SUAKA, klik di sini.

Jakarta, Indonesia –Sebuah kapal yang mengangkut empat puluh empat penumpang terapung-apung di perairan Lhoknga, Aceh Besar. Perahu ini bernomor registrasi TN-1-FV-00455.09, yang menurut BBC India, mengisyaratkan bahwa kapal ini berasal dari daerah Tamil Nadu, India.

Kapal ini merupakan kapal yang mengangkut pengungsi etnis Tamil asal Sri Lanka. Sementara itu, tujuan asli para pengungsi ini adalah Pulau Christmas, Australia. Kapal yang mereka tumpangi terpaksa harus berhenti di Lhoknga karena kerusakan pada mesin kapal dan habisnya bahan bakar untuk melanjutkan perjalanan. Meskipun pada kesempatan pertama kapal berhasil dilayarkan dengan bantuan pemerintah dan warga setempat, namun nahas, kapal tersebut kembali mengalami kerusakan dan terdampar di titik yang sama.

‘SUAKA mengapresiasi tindakan yang diambil baik pemerintah pusat maupun daerah yang akhirnya mengijinkan perahu itu merapat ke daratan,’ ujar Febi Yonesta, Ketua SUAKA.

Sebelumnya, perahu tersebut sempat ditolak untuk merapat oleh pemerintah setempat melalui Komandan Rayon Militer (Danramil) Lhoknga Darul Amin. Ia mengatakan bahwa para pengungsi ini tidak diijinkan untuk merapat ke daratan serta ditutup akses untuk ditemui oleh orang lain.

‘SUAKA memperoleh informasi dari lapangan bahwa kondisi mereka sangat perlu untuk diperhatikan,’ lanjutnya. Ia kemudian mengatakan bahwa satu dari para pengungsi tersebut adalah ibu hamil dan sembilan diantaranya adalah anak-anak. ‘Tentunya dua kelompok ini harus diperhatikan dengan seksama, jangan sampai Indonesia melanggar HAM karena membiarkan mereka terapung-apung tanpa perawatan,’ lanjutnya.

SUAKA juga memperhatikan pentingnya akses seluas-luasnya kepada UNHCR untuk dapat mewawancara langsung para pengungsi ini, karena fungsi UNHCR dapat membantu otoritas untuk melegitimasi keberadaan mereka.

Melihat kembali respon positif pemerintah pada gelombang besar pengungsi Rohingya pada Mei 2015, dan menilik deklarasi Bali Process tahun 2016, maka Indonesia juga dapat mengambil berperan penting dalam melakukan komunikasi dan penyelesaian masalah dari akarnya yaitu konflik bersenjata yang berkepanjangan di Sri Lanka. Hal ini juga dipandang oleh SUAKA sebagai manifestasi Indonesia dalam melaksanakan ketertiban dunia dan perdamaian abadi, sesuai dengan Pembukaan UUD ‘45.

‘Jika Indonesia menangani dengan baik pengungsi Tamil, maka hal tersebut juga akan mengikis stigma yang diterima oleh Indonesia tentang diskriminasi penanganan pengungsi karena basis agama,’ imbuh Febi.

‘Oleh karenanya menjadi penting bagi Indonesia, mengingat reputasi yang sudah dibangun atas krisis Rohingya di tahun 2015, untuk menerima mereka dengan positif, konstruktif, non-diskriminatif dan dengan tangan terbuka,’ tutupnya.*

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

Self Help Kit: Appeal on UNHCR Refugee Status Determination

 

Due to the 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 organisation.
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.

Information on UNHCR Appeal process, please read carefully.

If your application to UNHCR has been rejected, please read SUAKA’s Self Help Kit (SHK) for Appeals. 

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

Please download and read our Appeal Self Help Kit (SHK):
Suaka RSD Self Help Kit – APPEAL (Mar 2015).pdf

It includes information to help you understand:

  • What is a refugee?
  • Why you were your claim rejected by UNHCR?
  • Whether you should appeal.
  • How to write your appeal statement if you decide to appeal. You must write you appeal statement according to outline in SHK.
  • Problems at interviews.
  • Separately answer each rejection reason from your UNHCR letter of notification of rejection.
  • Write your story again from beginning to end, including as much detail as possible.

Once you have read the SHK, begin to write your statement.

If you would like advice on your completed statement please email suaka.legalaid@gmail.com and we will contact you.
Your email must include:

1. Copy of an asylum seeker certificate for every member of your family
2. Your written statement/history
3. Your contact phone number

You may also message Suaka legal aid on Whatsapp, Viber or Line on 0812 8425 6583

2013 Refugee Info Sessions 2