Refugees Demand Immediate Resettlement by UNHCR
Jakarta. Hundreds of refugees from Middle East countries staged a rally in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Central Jakarta on Monday, demanding resettlement and their refugee status determination (RSD).
They gathered at a refugee camp occupying a former military building in Kalideres, West Jakarta at 8.00 a.m. before making their way to the UNHCR office in Central Jakarta.
There are at least 10,000 refugees from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Somalia and several other Middle East countries transiting in Indonesia to seek refugee status from UNHCR, hoping that they will be resettled in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the United States. The process may take months or even years.
Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, meaning that those asylum seekers can be stranded without legal protection and logistical supports during the time-consuming process. In fact, many of them have been living on Jakarta streets and depending on individual charities to survive.
The protesters claimed that the Indonesian government and the UNHCR have no longer provided shelters and food, while the Covid-19 pandemic has also made things worse.