Migrant Assistance

As the UN Migration Agency and in partnership with the Government of Indonesia, IOM plays a key role in contributing to the protection of migrants.  IOM applies a rights-based approach that emphasizes the promotion of refugee and asylum seekers' dignity, well-being, and respect for their rights. 

While acknowledging the primary duty to protect refugee and asylum seekers and their rights lies with hosting states, when requested, IOM engages in supportive protection of refugees and asylum seekers by supporting states in their respective protection responsbilities. 

In Indonesia, IOM fulfils its policy on protection and rights-based approach by directly assisting migrants and refugees referred to IOM by the Government of Indonesia. 

In total, IOM has assisted more than 23,000 refugees and asylum seekers since 2011, and assists a caseload of approxmately 8,000 refugees and asylum seekers across Indonesia as of early 2020.  

At the request of the Government of Indonesia, IOM:

  • provides medical care, native language interpretation assistance and other basic services to migrants and refugees at the point of interception, and a basic support package to eligible migrants around the country.
  • provides Community Housing to approximately 8,000 refugees and asylum seekers.
  • provides both formal and informal educational opportunities, vocational training and recreational activities to adults and children under its care.
  • provides each person in Community Housing who qualifies for this assistance a modest monthly support payment consistent with the household incomes of the host community because refugees and asylum seekers are not permitted to work while in Indonesia according to national laws.  To cover their daily living necessities, refugees and asylum seekers make purchases in the host community markets which generate economic opportunities for the local community.
  • works with communities to ensure refugees and asylum seekers make a positive impact where they live.  Refugees and asylum seekers participate in community activities such as neighbourhood clean-up days, volunteer with local organizations, among many other positive contributions on a daily basis.
  • provides assistance to migrants and refugees wishing to voluntarily return to their home countries.
  • organizes the travel/logistics behind resettlement cases including airline tickets and transfers to the resettlement country, and medical clearance prior to departure.
  • IOM works closely with the UNHCR but it has no advisory or decision-making role in the process of resettling refugees to third countries.

IOM does not:

  • conduct Refugee Status Determination (RSD) interviews.
  • identify and propose refugees for consideration to potential resettlement countries.
  • participate in deportations.