Migrant care “Blueprint” a model for the nation


For more than 400 years, Makassar, Indonesia, has served as a crossroads for trade linking Southeast Asia with Europe, the Middle East and Asia. So it is perhaps not surprising that the bustling port city of 1.7 million has emerged as an example of how cities can adapt and absorb migrants fleeing war and persecution. That willingness to host and support foreign migrants was cemented on Nov 19, with the formal handover of Indonesia’s first blueprint for the care and management of refugees and asylum seekers.

“The migration challenges faced here in the city of Makassar are hardly different to those challenges faced by many 21st C cities around the world,” IOM Chief of Mission Mark Getchell told the day-long seminar organized by the Organization and hosted by the mayor of Makassar, Ir. H. Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto.

“While some societies might choose to build a wall and deny access and help to needy individuals out of unfounded and unrealistic fears or, even worse, deliberate and targeted intolerance of those who are different, others as we see here in Makassar choose to build bridges of inclusiveness and brotherhood, gracious hospitality and humanitarian responses.”

The blueprint represents the first time in Indonesia that all the agencies of government have come together at the local level to agree upon the roles and responsibilities of each partner in the circle of care for migrants. By doing so, each also acknowledges that the care of migrants cannot rest with a single government agency or partner, but rather requires a community of support, a community of actors.

Among those attending to endorse the city’s outward-looking vision were Brig. Gen. (TNI) Afanti S. Uloli, from the National Defence Council, South Sulawesi’s immigration head Ramli Hs, Mochtar Tahir Mpd, head of Makassar’s Social Welfare Office and Makassar sub-district head H.Rulli S.Sos.

The blueprint is also a living reflection of one of IOM’s core values, that responsibly managed, migration can benefit all.

Indonesia’s first blueprint for the care and management of refugees and asylum seekers was the product of a long consultative process facilitated by IOM. Formally receiving the inaugural printed copy is South Sulawesi’s Immigration office head Ramli Hs. On his far right is IOM Makassar head of office Nelson Bosch and IOM Chief of Mission Mark Getchell. To his far left is Makassar sub-district head H.Rulli, Mochtar Tahir Mpd, head of Makassar city’s social welfare office, and the National Defence Council’s (Wantanas) Brig.Gen Afanti S. Uloli.
Along with the launch of the blueprint, an art exhibition displaying drawings by the migrants living in Makassar was held. The arts were auctioned after the exhibition.

An auction of art provided by migrants from around the globe who are currently living under IOM care in Makassar raised Rp16.5 million to support activities organized by the city administration!

The children of migrants living under IOM care in Makassar, Indonesia, join VIPs and other guests to close out the seminar marking the formal handover of the migrant assistance blueprint to sing We Are The World.