JRS Indonesia Accompaniment to Refugees and Asylum Seekers 2013

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Until June 2013, JRS Indonesia has accompanied Refugees and Asylum Seekers through various activities, i.e:

Urban Refugees and Asylum Seekers:

1. Outreach Urban Asylum Seeker in Cisarua Bogor

During the first months of 2013 the JRS team in Cisarua Bogor continued to receive many requests for support from vulnerable Asylum Seekers living in the community. The requests and needs are bigger than what the project can respond to. We have currently a waiting list prioritizing people most vulnerable, including women and children with special and emergency needs – mental and physical health concerns, and severe livelihood and housing needs

“Many Asylum Seekers asking for information and advice in regards to their Refugee Status Determination process but there are only very few individuals that can provide this information. JRS works together with young lawyers from SUAKA – Indonesian Civil Society Network for Refugee Protection – to ensure Asylum Seekers questions can be answered. More support is needed to enable Refugees to state their fear clearly and truthfully.” stated Fransisca Asmiarsi, Information & Advocacy Officer at JRS Outreach to Urban Asylum Seekers project. “During the first months of 2013 JRS and SUAKA assisted 48 asylum seekers in understanding the UNHCR process and criteria. We hope more people can join us in assisting Asylum Seekers to get the protection they need” added Asmiarsi.

2. Refugee community, in Sewon-Bantul, Yogyakarta

Lino Sanjaya, Team Leader of Sewon Project

The majority of the Refugees accompanied by JRS during 2012 have received their visa for resettlement to Australia and can finally start a new life in security, equipped with better English language and computer skills. JRS welcomed new Refugee arrivals in Sewon community housing, many of whom joined English and Computer classes. “We are happy. The resettlement means new Refugees can be released from detention into the community in Sewon. We are concerned about the Refugees awaiting resettlement for a long time, many of them are afraid they are forgotten or excluded from resettlement. They experience severe stress and depression.” said Lino Sanjaya, Team Leader

DETENTION:

3. IDC Surabaya, in Bangil-Pasuruan, East Java

The JRS team finally had success to get the permission to celebrate religious events, sports activities which seen the detained Asylum Seekers and Refugees leave their cells for the first time in months, more than that we are very happy to see that a group of Asylum Seekers and Refugees was allowed to leave the detention center for a few hours to enjoy a swimming pool.

4. IDC Medan, in Belawan North Sumatera

The JRS team continues to deliver urgently needed accompaniment and recreational and educational activities in the hopelessly overcrowded detention center. A brawl between Myanmarese detainees – Rohingya and other ethnicity religion back in April has left 8 people dead, the trauma was still with the rest of the detainees for a long time. We successfully advocated for the release of women and children from detention and increased accompaniment for detainees remaining in the IDC.

JRS Research and Media officer, Paulus Enggal, developed public awareness material for the field teams, and initiated the making of a short documentary film portraying Asylum Seekers and Refugees life in Indonesia. Enggal is currently collecting JRS’s lessons learned of 4 years accompaniment, service and advocacy in Immigration Detention Centers in Indonesia.

IDPs & returned Refugees from PNG:

5. Durable Solution for Prolonged IDPs in East Indonesia, Ambon, Maluku

Purwaningsih, JRS Information and Advocacy Officer continues to accompany the IDP families resettling to land provided by JRS in Wa’ai. She is currently advocating for a timely issuing of the land certificates.

JRS published and distributed the projects lessons learned in a case study on Prolonged Displacement, which is available on the JRS website (http://jrs.or.id/publications/books/book/?did=164).

6. The currently conducted in-dept Needs Assessment on the situation of returned Refugees from PNGin Papua Province is planned to be concluded by the end of June 2013. Findings of the ¿rst part of the needs assessment were shared in May 2013 to Church representatives, Regional Working Units (Satuan Kerja Pemerintah Daerah), and civil society in Keerom district. In June 2013, findings of the second part were shared in Merauke district.

SUAKA legal aid and advocacy network:

In May 2013 JRS supported the SUAKA Diplomat briefing on the situation of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Indonesia. SUAKA and JRS participated in a Focus Group Discussion at the National Human Rights Commission discussing and promoting Indonesia’s ratification of the convention on the status of Refugees and its protocol. SUAKA continues to provide legal advice and accompaniment to Asylum Seekers during the RSD process mostly referrals from JRS. Currently a more comprehensive referral system is developed in a collaboration of JRS and SUAKA.

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