Foreign Affairs Ministry Addresses Future of Asylum Seekers

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Spokesperson for the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Teuku Faizasyah, assured that one of the government’s options in regards to the refugee crisis is to arrange the return of asylum seekers to their country of origin once the global situation settles.

    The presence of asylum seekers in Indonesia recently grabbed the public spotlight after their number increased exponentially. These men, women, and children are settled at a temporary shelter located at the former building of the West Jakarta Military Command (Kodim).

    Up until July 2019, their number increased to 1,271 people from the 300 that was initially recorded at the start of their relocation.

    The ministry will monitor the situation of their country of origins and – if it is deemed safe and is requested by the UNHCR - will provide accommodation and transportation for them to return home.

    Teuku Faizasyah explained that their return will only be commenced if the situation shows that there is a certainty for the future well-being of the asylum seekers back at their home country.

    “The UNHCR will do everything in their capacity and hopefully their number will decline. They show persistence to return home every time we ask them, which is understandable but only if the situation improves and is safe to do so. This is a giant task considering we must help create an ideal condition at an area of conflict,” said Faizasyah on Thursday, July 18.

    SUCI SEKARWATI