In 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.