Episode 4: Refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia, with Trish Cameron

Trish CameronIn this episode Kate interviewed Trish Cameron, Legal Aid Coordinator at Suaka, an Indonesia-based network that works for refugee rights protection in the country.

While global focus has been on the refugee crisis in Europe, it is important to remember that Indonesia and Asia Pacific region are also affected .

Although Indonesia allows asylums seekers and refugees to remain in the country until they find a permanent place of resettlement, the country is also reluctant to come up with a more concrete strategy on how to handle the arrival and presence of asylum seekers in the long-term. While existing migration and security forums such as the Bali Process and the ASEAN have lost momentum in addressing the issue – despite the growing numbers of displaced people in Southeast Asia such as the Rohingya – Australia has closed its borders to asylum seekers and refugees arriving by boat from Indonesia. As a result, Indonesia has transformed from a place of transit, to hosting growing numbers of asylum seekers for longer periods while they await resettlement.

In this episode, Kate and Trish spoke about the issue of increasing numbers of asylum seekers in Indonesia and the region, the challenges this poses for Indonesia-based organisations, and how civil society organisations are working towards the creation of effective refugee processing legislation and systems in the Asia-Pacific. Trish also spoke about the most useful (and not so useful) ways eager refugee advocates can channel their desire to support refugees in the region.

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Episode 1: LGBTI refugees in the Asia-Pacific, with Jaz Dawson

JasmineDawsonKaleidoscopePicture_n-150x150For the first episode of Sub Rosa, Andrew spoke with Jaz Dawson, a director of the Kaleidoscope Australia Human Rights Foundation.

We discussed an aspect of refugee policy that doesn’t get much media attention: the experiences of asylum seekers trying to escape persecution for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.

The episode covers not only the types of persecution that occur, but also the problems encountered when making asylum claims in Western countries. Someone who may have had to spend their whole life denying being gay, to avoid brutal treatment, then has to prove to officials in Australia, Canada, the UK and elsewhere that they are in fact gay and are at risk of persecution. Sometimes the processes they have to go through to prove their asylum claims are based on outdated assumptions, and can even involve further violations of human rights.

Jaz discusses this in detail in the interview, and also talks about Kaleidoscope’s work in trying to address this, and her own research in the area.

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