Rohingya Refugees Relocated from Temporary Shelters to Community-Based Accommodation with IOM Support

Aceh, Indonesia – A group of 190 Rohingya refugees, who arrived in Indonesia having been stranded at sea for several weeks and months and were subsequently housed in temporary shelters have been relocated from Pidie and Lhoksumaewe, Aceh to Pekanbaru, in Riau province in the eastern part of Sumatra Island, Indonesia. The relocation, on 4 April, was undertaken by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with national and local government and humanitarian partners.

The group will be under the overall care and supervision of IOM officers and local authorities and will receive community-based accommodations and care assistance upon their arrival in Pekanbaru, similar to that being provided other refugees across Indonesia. They will also receive care assistance under IOM supervision to help them to continue with their life.

Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM's Chief of Mission in Indonesia thanked the Government of Pekanbaru for supporting this relocation initiative which is providing these vulnerable groups of people with better conditions to stay.

“This relocation signifies the possibility of a fresh start in a safe environment, after months of living in transitory conditions in Pidie and Lhokseumawe, said Labovitz.

"IOM also commends the local government in Pidie and Lhokseumawe for hosting this vulnerable group and providing them with temporary shelter. Special mention should also go to the local communities for their humanitarian spirit in extending a hand to the Rohingya refugees," Labovitz added.

This latest relocation follows one in May 2022 when IOM Indonesia facilitated the movement of 119 Rohingya refugees also from Aceh to Pekanbaru.

The arrival of Rohingya refugees in Indonesia has presented several challenges, not least the risks of such dangerous boat journeys and the threats associated with the smuggling and trafficking of persons, typically resulting in irregular travel and entry, rights violations, and physical abuse.

Currently, IOM Indonesia is assisting over 7,400 refugees in Indonesia, across a range of services and initiatives which include programs to prevent and counter trafficking in persons, strengthen protection for labour migrants, reduce exposure and vulnerability to natural disasters, and support integrated border management systems with a particular focus on supporting the COVID-19 recovery efforts.

IOM provides these much-needed supports to the refugees, including these relocation arrangements, with support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).


For further information about this programme, please contact Stefano Bresaola, Programme Coordinator, Disaster, Climate and Resilience at IOM Indonesia, email:, or for an interview request, please contact Josephine Imelda, Tel: +62 813 1869 3599, Email:

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