Makassar City Government’s Urban Refugee Policy: Filling in the Gap?

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

Author/s (editor/s):

D. Gabiella, R. A. A. K. Putri

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Publication type:

Journal article

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IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

D. Gabiella and R. A. A. K. Putri, ‘Makassar City Government’s Urban Refugee Policy: Filling in the Gap?’ IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 126(1) 2018: 1-10.

Indonesia is home to 13,829 refugees and asylum seekers by the end of January 2017. In general, the number could be dichotomized into two categories: camp-based refugees and urban refugees. There are approximately 70.83 percent of urban refugees living in several cities across the country. The existence of refugees in urban environments has been considered as either bringing promise or peril to urban development. Makassar is one among the most populated cities by refugees in Indonesia. In the middle of the inadequacy of legal framework at the national level, the Makassar City Government initiated a policy to address the issues of refugees staying in the city specifically. In 2005, the Mayor of Makassar signed a Memorandum of Understanding with International Organization for Migration (IOM) to accommodate the needs for funding allocated from Regional Budget that could not be dispensed due to the absence of legal basis. The city also constituted a Joint Committee Monitoring (JCM), which comprises of various government agencies, to support the Immigration Office in monitoring the refugees. These initiatives allow refugees to access basic services that are not made available to them in other cities. Against this backdrop, this paper mainly discusses the initiatives and refugee policy of Makassar City Government, which had emulated the national government’s policy to refugee management before the recently signed Presidential Decree No. 25 / 2016. It argues that the proactive and relatively integrative approach of the City Government alongside the social inclusion by the local community have contributed positively to the livelihoods of urban refugees in Makassar.

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