Operation: Opération: Indonesia



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
1,070 refugee cases were submitted for resettlement, of which 509 departed
417 people of concern returned voluntarily to their countries of origin
2019 planning figures
500 people of concern will receive life-skills training for livelihoods purposes
400 Resettlement Registration Forms will be submitted
300 households will receive multi-purpose cash grants

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 14,016
2017 13,840
2016 14,405


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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[8.1163595,8.520175439,7.40017998,7.20039384,9.19091669,8.22934808],"expenditure":[4.25984435,4.16831134,4.40832693,4.33737673,8.35396237,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[7.96135451,8.430233439,7.2704553,7.17389384,4.98404869,7.86430101],"p2":[0.15500499,0.089942,0.12972468,0.0265,0.0315,0.36504707],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,4.175368,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[4.14177285,4.10712733,4.3650075,4.33604959,4.18597482,null],"p2":[0.1180715,0.06118401,0.04331943,0.00132714,0.00485877,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,4.16312878,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational context 

The operational environment in Indonesia, to a great extent shaped by the 2018 elections and the 2019 campaign, coupled with economic developments, had its impact on UNHCR’s operation.
The key challenges with the presidential legislation pertained as the Government has not yet developed standard operating procedures or implementing guidelines. Nonetheless, UNHCR continued to advocate for its protection strategy within the scope of the Regulation, including in relation to registration, documentation, and RSD, facilitation of comprehensive solutions, access to education, and self-reliance opportunities.
In 2018, UNHCR developed new partnerships with civil society organizations and private sector entities, both on operational and implementation level delivering against key priorities of the operation addition to the well-established partnerships with the national institutions and the civil society. For example, two new implementing partners were engaged in the area of child protection and assistance to extremely vulnerable groups.

Population trends

At the end of 2018 the total population of concern to UNHCR in Indonesia stood at some 14,020 people from 47 different countries of origin, including 10,800 refugees (77%) and 3,220 asylum-seekers (23%). The higher proportion of refugees over asylum-seekers is an indication of the operation's improved RSD procedures, which are the result of a range of initiatives undertaken in 2018 to improve efficiency and address backlogs.
Some 1,567 asylum-seekers were registered during the year, with the largest group registered continued to originate from Afghanistan (36%) followed by Yemen (11%) and Eritrea (11%).

Key achievements

Despite Indonesia’s long tradition of granting access to asylum, immigration detention continued to be a challenge throughout 2018, although considerable progress was made on the Office’s efforts to promote alternatives to detention. The number of people remaining in detention was reduced by 96% from 3,299 at the beginning of 2018 to 126 asylum-seekers and refugees, including 36 children at the end of the year.
UNHCR’s protection and solutions strategy focused  on providing support to the Government carrying out registration, documentation, RSD, data sharing data, and durable solutions in a context where access to resettlement is reduced and prospects for voluntary repatriation are relatively low.
UNHCR continued to work with the Government to ensure that rescue at sea, safe disembarkation and access to asylum were respected.  Through implementation of a new RSD and registration strategy, UNHCR was able to improve the quality of registration data, significantly reduce waiting times and virtually eliminate RSD backlog through prioritized and accelerated processing of RSD for populations with less likelihood of refuge recognition.  During 2018 some 1,567 asylum-seekers were registered, while 13,342 documents issued. 

Unmet needs

Due to funding constraints, UNHCR was unable to promote solutions, foster positive climate, advocate on behalf of refugees as well as engage more proactively the national civil society organizations in supporting and advocating for refugees.
On the stateless front, only a reduced number of pilot projects which aimed to support the civil society, local authorities and the persons without documents in raising awareness and obtaining civil documentation, could be carried out.

Working Environment

The Government has made a significant leap forward in providing protection to refugees by enacting a comprehensive national law in late 2016. The national law provides an overarching legal framework for handling refugees, gives UNHCR a coordinating role, and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to providing access to asylum. With the law, provincial governments now have a harmonized foundation for addressing refugee issues and thus more clarity on how to move forward.  How the law will be implemented in practice, however, remains to be seen and will be crucial to its success.
UNHCR’s activities in 2018 will center on providing its expertise and support to the government ministries responsible for implementing the law in order to ensure maximum protection is provided to refugees according to international standards. 

Key Priorities

To best provide protection for refugees, support to government ministries will focus in large part on registration and documentation, two areas that are specifically provided for under the new law. This will include promoting joint registration and documentation activities with Government authorities. 
UNHCR will continue to work towards strategic refugee status determination and identifying resettlement opportunities for the most vulnerable refugees, but will also work to identify appropriate temporary stay measures, as well as livelihood opportunities that benefit refugees as well as local host communities. The operation will continue to provide assistance to the most vulnerable refugees, particularly women and children, in the areas of shelter, healthcare, education and basic needs through cash-based interventions. Community-based protection mechanisms will be strengthened and will promote mutual support and self-reliance.
In light of provisions in the new law regarding immigration detention and the persistent number of refugees in detention, the operation will advocate for the establishment of shelters under the new law, and will formulate and implement an awareness campaign that promotes alternatives to detention, particularly for children and their families, while raising awareness among local communities to promote mutual understanding and facilitate integration of refugees within the communities hosting them.
Latest contributions
  • 11-OCT-2019
    European Union
  • Netherlands
  • Liechtenstein
  • 10-OCT-2019
  • 07-OCT-2019
    United States of America

    private donors

  • 03-OCT-2019
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 02-OCT-2019
  • Germany
  • 30-SEP-2019

    private donors

  • United States of America

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  • Netherlands

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  • France

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  • Mexico

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  • Italy

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  • Spain

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  • Kuwait
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  • Philippines

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  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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  • Republic of Korea

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