Asylum Seekers Demand Certainty from UNHCR



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Dozens of asylum seekers are committed to stand-ground at the headquarters of the UNHCR located across the Ravindo Tower in Central Jakarta until the organization keeps its promise upon providing aid.

    “We will stay here until the UNHCR provides us with assistance as they have promised,” said Ali, one of many refugees from Afghanistan Tempo interviewed.

    According to Ali, he and his fellow countrymen have occupied the location for the past week and often gather at sidewalks during the day and set up tents to sleep during the night at the parking lots in front of the area’s office district.

    “We sleep in tents at night,” said Ali who elaborates that the tents would be cleaned by dawn as to not disturb parking lot users.

    As for daily food supply, Ali said the 30 asylum seekers currently rely on donations from locals in the area’s vicinity.

    Ali and other refugees previously lived at the region-backed facility in West Jakarta, which is an unused former Military Command headquarters. In August, they were ousted and were given Rp1.2 million for each refugee to help with their needs.

    They claim the UNHCR promised them Rp2 million each but remains as a promise that has yet been kept by the international organization.