Jakarta Councilor: Asylum Seekers Not City's Responsibility

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Deputy speaker of Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD), Mohamad Taufik, has again asserted that asylum seekers are not the responsibility of the city administration.

    “There is an authority who must be ready to deal with problems of those asylum seekers,” said Taufik to Antara, Thursday, July 18.

    Taufik, who is the head of Jakarta Gerindra Party, said all the help provided by the capital was merely on humanitarian grounds.

    “Jakarta previously set a relocation place [for the asylum seekers] based on humanitarian grounds, instead of letting them dwelling in on Jalan Kebon Sirih which is the capital's main road,” he added.

    The offices of Jakarta Council and Vice Presidential, as well as Press Council building are located on Jalan Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta.

    Taufik suggested the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as the fully responsible party to immediately take actions and seek solutions to prevent more conflict between the Jakarta residents and asylum seekers.

    “Conflict is inevitable, the locals are annoyed [by them]. UNHCR must handle it soon,” the councilor underlined.

    Indonesia is, in fact, not a signatory to the 1951 Vienna Convention concerning refugees, and so it is not obliged to accommodate them, except on humanitarian grounds.

    On the other side, the third parties bound to accept them, namely Australia, European Countries, and the United States, are limiting the number of asylum seekers. This condition is the main cause of massive numbers of refugees in transit countries, including Indonesia.

    ANTARA