Yudha Baskoro, Jakarta – A group of refugees and asylum seekers has been back to live in front of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices in Central Jakarta for about a month now and had to observe Ramadan on the sidewalks in a protest against the international agency.
The protesters claimed that the Indonesian government and the UNHCR have no longer provided shelters and food, while the Covid-19 pandemic also worsened things. They demand resettlement in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or the United States.
The process may take months or even years. Some of them have stayed in Indonesia for 5 to 9 years without any elucidation from UNHCR.
The refugees fled from conflict-stricken countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
They came to this area in March. Previously, some stayed at temporary shelters for refugees and asylum seekers in Kalideres, West Jakarta, Bogor, West Java, and Serpong, South Tangerang.
The refugees have resorted to sleeping in a small tent while using tree branches and barbed wire to hang their personal belongings such as bags, pants, and clothes. They also prepared mosquito coils to protect children and babies from mosquito bites during the night. Every Muslim refugee continues to fast even though they have to eat suhoor and break their fast.