This submission provides an overview of the refugee rights situation in Indonesia and the effectiveness of refugee management of the Government of Indonesia since the last UPR (Third Cycle). There were two recommendations specific to the issues of refugees, one of which was supported by the Government of Indonesia (139.147 – Colombia) and one noted recommendation (141.55 – Ireland). In addition to these specific recommendations, Indonesia also supported many recommendations on other rights which would be applicable for refugees and asylum seekers. However, this report has documented the weak commitment made by the Government of Indonesia to follow up the recommendations for the betterment of refugee rights in the country.
Per February 2022, Indonesia is host to 13,174 refugees and asylum seekers. The top three of the population are from Afghanistan, Somalia and Myanmar. Of this population, 13 people are in immigration detention facilities, 97 children are either unaccompanied or separated from their caregiver, and 41 of whom are women.
As a non-party to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (“1951 Refugee Convention”), Indonesia considers itself as a transit country, thus not able to offer local integration options for refugees and asylum seekers as a long-term solution. However, Indonesia is a State Party to eight out of nine UN Core Conventions, thus having obligations to comply with the ratified Conventions to protect refugee rights according to the international standards.
At national level, Indonesia guarantees the right to seek asylum under Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights in Article 28 (1) which stated, “every person has the right to seek and receive political asylum from another country.” The right to seek asylum is also regulated in Law No. 37 of 1999 on Foreign Relations Chapter VI on Granting Asylum and Refugee Matters which stipulates that granting refugee/asylum seeker status is the authority of the President. Therefore, it is mandated under the same regulation that there should be a Presidential level decision to further regulate this matter.
The mandate was executed on 31 December 2016, when Indonesia’s President signed the Presidential Regulation No. 125 of 2016 on The Handling of Foreign Refugees which adopted the definition of refugee stipulated by the 1951 Convention. However, it only regulates the refugee handling procedure on the time of emergency without a guarantee of human rights fulfillment.
Full report here.