Civil Society Solidarity for Asylum Seeker and Refugees
Working Peoples Association (PRP), Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance (KASBI), Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) Jakarta, Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Humanitarian Volunteers Network (JRK), Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KONTRAS)
(CP Ign Mahendra K:+62 85716280745)
Open Humanitarian Access for the Refugees!
Reject “Indonesia Solution”!
Indonesia Must Ratified UN Convention on Refugees!
For nearly two months the fate of the Tamil refugees in Merak is uncertain. So far, they have to live in a boat sized 100 square feet. The ship is intended to accommodate about 40 to 50 people but now it is packed by more than 200 people. Not surprisingly, they were forced to sleep in turn. The boat’s facilities are not comprehensive. There is only one toilet, their basic needs are not met, and children are suffering, and so on. Not to mention all of that is added to by unfriendly weather with strong winds and heavy rain. These conditions have resulted in many of them becoming infected with diseases such as itching and diarrhea.
No one knows how long they will be in this condition. The conditions are worsened by the Indonesian government policy that denied the refugees access to humanitarian assistance and the media. The Indonesia government also denies access to the UNHCR to meet with the refugees. Access denial resulted in a situation whereby the refugees could not get the help they need. Also the formal legal process to determine the fate of their future cannot be done.
The Indonesian government policy to hold them is related to the agreement with the Australian government. Australia in fact has ratified the UN Convention on Refugees. But the Rudd government prefers to make an agreement, called “Indonesian Solution”. The “Indonesian Solution” basically outsources Australia’s obligations to asylum seekers and refugees to Indonesia. This is the same as the “Pacific solution” with Nauru and Papua New Guinea conducted previously by Australia government. Many media in Australian reported that the deal was AUS$50 million in assistance from Australia to Indonesia. This aid package does not include the naval assistance to pursue asylum seekers’ boats in Indonesia waters. Australia already gave $12 million for the construction and improvement of detention centre, including those located in Tanjung Pinang, and to provide health facilities and generators in the detention centre. Also $7.9 million has been given for the border arrangements management, including fingerprint technology and educational programmes for Indonesian officials.
Therefore, Civil Society Solidarity for Asylum Seeker and Refugee demanded:
a. The Indonesian government immediately opens access to the UNHCR and humanitarian aid to the refugees.
b. Rejection of the “Indonesian Solution”
c. The Indonesian government immediately ratifies the UN Convention on Refugees.