International refugees in Indonesia

International Institute of Social Studies
Start date

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2019, 13:00

End date

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2019, 14:00

Room 1.31
International Institute of Social Studies
Spoken Language
Mahardhika Sjamsoe’oed Sadjad

On 30 Janaury, PhD researcher Mahardhika Sjamsoe’oed Sadjad, will give a lecture on 'The Domestication of International Refugee Regime in Indonesia'. The lecture is part of the Migration Seminar Series held at the International Institute of Social Studies.

This seminar will offer insight into the domestication of the international refugee regime, particularly in the context of Indonesia, a country that is not a party to the 1951 Refugees Convention and its 1967 Protocol. The seminar also will situate refugee reception discourse within a wider frame of citizenship discourse, highlighting the discursive relationships between the state, the citizens and the refugee other.


A stretch of over 17,000 islands between Southeast Asia and Australia, the Indonesian archipelago is strategically situated on emerging refugees’ migratory trajectory in the Asia Pacific region. Approximately 14,000 refugees are currently ‘stuck’ in Indonesia; unable to return to their countries of origin, integrate locally in Indonesia, nor move on to resettle to a third country.

In December 2016, the government of Indonesia established the Presidential Regulation no. 125/ 2016 on the Handling of Refugees from Abroad, the first legal framework in Indonesia to address the presence of refugees. On one hand this has created a momentum for advocacy of refugees’ rights by international and national organizations. On the other hand, the regulation’s implementation is driven by concerns over security rather than the protection of refugees, leading to their increased control and surveillance.

The seminar will combine a frame analysis of Presidential Regulation no. 125/ 2016 with interviews and participatory observations during forums and workshops on refugees’ rights.


More information

ISS Migration Seminar Series

The ISS migration seminar series is a programme of informal seminar sessions which discuss cutting-edge research on a range of issues within the broad theme of migration. Please contact Katarzyna Grabska and Cathy Wilcock for more information.