Komnas HAM, UNHCR continue protecting refugees' rights

Komnas HAM, UNHCR continue protecting refugees' rights

Komnas HAM Chief Ahmad Taufan Damanik and UNHCR Representative for Indonesia Thomas Vargas. (special)

The flow of refugees and asylum seekers, particularly Rohingya and Bangladeshi entering the Indonesian territory every year has shown an upward trend
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have agreed to continue cooperation in increasing the advocacy and protection of refugees and other parties' human rights. The cooperation, under the mandate of the UNHCR in Indonesia, was contained in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on July 28, 2015 for the 2015-2018 period. The two institutions signed the MoU extending the cooperation until 2019, at the Komnas HAM Office in Jakarta Friday.

"The flow of refugees and asylum seekers, particularly Rohingyas and Bangladeshis entering Indonesian territory every year has shown an upward trend," Komnas HAM Chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik said.

Actually, Indonesia is not a destination for the refugees. They did not intend to live and reside here but certain conditions have forced them to stay, he said.

From the perspective of human rights, the rights body highlighted the main problems of the refugees and asylum seekers. These include restrictions on their movement, rights of children and women particularly pregnant women, right to justice, and the right to information and protection, he said.

Indonesia has issued a presidential regulation number 125 of 2016 concerning the handling of foreign refugees. However, it has not ratified the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 and the protocol relating to the Status of Refugees 1967.

Therefore, Komnas HAM thought it necessary to continue the cooperation with UNHRC to handle the question of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless people.

Both Komnas HAM and UNHCR have earlier been engaged in a number of activities to increase the protection of refugees. The activities included training related to immigration detention monitoring and joint monitoring at the Medan and Bali immigration detention houses.

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