Hundreds of migrants were left stranded on Saturday after they were ordered to vacate the temporary shelter in Kalideres, West Jakarta, where they have been receiving critical support from the provincial government and private donors for the past two months. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Migrants Evicted From Temporary Shelter in West Jakarta, With Nowhere to Go

BY :BAYU MARHAENJATI & NUR YASMIN

AUGUST 31, 2019

Jakarta. Hundreds of migrants were left stranded on Saturday after they were ordered to vacate the temporary shelter in Kalideres, West Jakarta, where they have been receiving critical support from the provincial government and private donors for the past two months. 

Thomas Vargas, Indonesian representative of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), said the migrants should try to find temporary shelter wherever they could. He said the agency would try to assist them with anything they need, especially in an emergency.

Vargas said the current situation was challenging and that the UNHCR could only provide the migrants with minimum support. However, he promised that the agency would be able to provide better aid in future, as it was developing programs to give migrants opportunities to be functional and useful to society.

About 1,500 migrants, including women and children, started leaving Kalideres by minibus on Saturday, with nowhere to go.

The Jakarta provincial government earlier announced that it would stop accommodating migrants and evict them from the temporary housing in Kalideres by Saturday. The deadline was set in a meeting with the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Chairul Anwar, head of the refugee task force at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, said the migrants were informed of the deadline on Aug. 28.

"From Aug. 8 to Aug. 18, the UNHCR carried out an assessment to determine the refugees' vulnerability rate and establish who will receive assistance, and to identify shelters that may be available in Jakarta and surrounding areas," Chairul said on Saturday.

He said vulnerable migrants, such as single women, mothers and children, would receive assistance for the next six months, while those not considered vulnerable would only be assisted for one month.

The aid could be used to rent dormitories, rooms, or other forms of accommodation in the greater Jakarta area. The UNHCR did not mention the amount in aid it would provide, but Chairul said the Jakarta provincial government was not responsible for them.

"They are not Indonesian citizens. They are here temporarily before being accepted by a receiving country. This is also happening in Puncak," Chairul said, referring to an area in Bogor district, West Java.

There are currently about 14,000 migrants living in limbo in Indonesia, with only about 9,000 of them registered with the authorities. The IOM is taking care of about 8,000.

The government announced last week that it may start to repatriate Iranian migrants currently in limbo in the archipelago, following an agreement with their country's consular representatives.

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