TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Coordinating Minister for Political, Law and Security Affairs Wiranto said that the government will tighten borders and screen refugees and asylum seekers. Wiranto reasoned that terrorist groups may take advantage of the refugee influx.
“Terrorism is rising and [terrorists] use various ways to enter into target countries. We will tighten control,” Wiranto said yesterday before meeting the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Chief of Mission Mark Getchell in Jakarta. At the meeting, they discussed cooperation on refugees, particularly the Indonesian government’s stance, and programs on refugees and asylum seekers.
Wiranto said that Indonesia has seen an increasing trend of incoming refugees. “[The government] has additional tasks,” he said. However, Wiranto went on, the Indonesian government will put humanity first in handling refugees. “We adhere to the notion of just and civilized humanity.”
The Indonesian government is committed to supporting the IOM to address refugee problems. More so because Indonesia is a transit country for refugees before they head to destination countries, like Australia.
Mark Getchell has lauded the Indonesian government for ensuring protection to refugees and asylum seekers during their transit. The problem is that the process of refugee resettlement in destination countries has been sluggish.
As a result, the number of refugees in transit countries, such as Indonesia, has increased.
Indonesia basically allows refugees to transit in the country before being resettled in other countries. But the waiting time before such resettlement is long and uncertain. “If they are not named as refugees and fail to secure protection claim, they must go back to their original country with the help of IOM,” Getchell said.