The government has decided to stop providing shelters to Rohingya refugees. However, for the sake of humanity, we will help them.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, on Wednesday informed that the Indonesian government will no longer build temporary shelters for Rohingya refugees due to several reasons.

After the 2023 National Conference of Friends of Witnesses and Victims in Bogor, West Java, the minister said that human trafficking is suspected to be behind the increasing number of Rohingya refugee arrivals in Indonesia.

According to him, human trafficking networks are suspected to be deliberately sending Rohingya refugees to Indonesia from where they are being taken to other countries.

"Their arrival was brought by a human trafficking practice. The perpetrators were arrested. They deliberately sent those refugees to Indonesia, and then sent them again to other countries. They (refugees) were to be sold as illegal workers. They chose to transit in Indonesia because our people are known for our kindness," Mahfud explained.

As a result, the shelters provided by the Indonesian government in various places are full as the number of Rohingya refugees arriving in Indonesia has continued to increase, he added.

Related news: Human smuggling suspected in Rohingya refugee influx: Indonesian VP

He then noted that local communities, such as those in Aceh, that have been living side by side with Rohingya refugees have also expressed their rejection of the refugees.

"So, the shelters are full now. The local people also refuse their presence. The government has decided to stop providing shelters to Rohingya refugees. However, for the sake of humanity, we will help them," Mahfud said.

He then informed that the government is still studying other locations to accommodate Rohingya refugees.

"We are still seeking for more temporary, maybe intermediate, shelters for them along with the cost and other things," the minister expounded.

Earlier, the top security minister emphasized that Indonesia wields the right to reject Rohingya refugees as the country has not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention.

"According to international law, Indonesia has the right to expel the refugees. However, since Indonesia is applying humanitarian diplomacy, we are accommodating those looking for refuge," he said on December 14, 2023.

Meanwhile, other neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Australia are no longer accepting Rohingya refugees.

Related news: Fifty new Rohingya refugees arrive in East Aceh: Police officer

Related news: Need to promptly resolve root problem of Rohingya refugees: Marsudi

Translator: Hana Dewi Kinarina K, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2023