Tackling Migration Issues: Does Indonesia Provide Adequate Legal Protection to Refugees and Asylum Seekers?

In the midst of the global refugee crisis, there has been much discussion regarding the management of refugees and asylum seekers in the developed world, however, this issue has been somewhat overlooked in Indonesia. Historically, Indonesia has been utilised as a transit country, due to its geographical location, archipelago geography, and bureaucratic functioning.   This trend has continued in recent years – in 2016, approximately 13,829 refugees arrived in Indonesia.  However, whilst Indonesia may still be characterised as a transit country, this reality is quickly changing, particularly as both Australia and the United States, two primary re-settlement nations, have decreased their refugee intake.  In 2016, 761 refugees were resettled to the US, and 347 to Australia, almost a 50% decrease in settlement from the previous year.  A drop in re-settlement rates, coupled with an inevitable increase in re-settlement waiting periods, has contributed to the transformation of Indonesia’s role as a country that merely acts as a place of transit, to a destination where refugees are now spending a significant amount of time.  Given these circumstances, the need for a more robust solution in the Government’s approach and attitude towards refugees has become evident. read more