With almost 240 million people spread across an archipelago spanning 5,000 kilometers and comprising 17,600 islands, Indonesia is a prime source, destination and transit country for migrants with its porous borders and weaknesses in border and immigration management systems. It also experiences important internal migration flows due to constant labor movement, conflict and disasters.
Helping governments manage migration-related issues is one of the core missions of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Working in close partnership with national and local authorities, as well as the international community, and a large network of non-governmental organizations, IOM Indonesia helps the Government of Indonesia develop and implement migration policy, legislation and administrative mechanisms by providing technical assistance and training to government migration managers, and help to migrants in need.
To improve the Government’s capacity to employ appropriate strategies and technology to monitor and take action against irregular migration and address other critical issues such as human trafficking and smuggling, IOM supports national and regional capacity-building activities and provides direct assistance to victims of trafficking.
IOM Indonesia operates a national counter-trafficking programme in close partnership with government agencies and local NGOs to combat this modern form of slavery through a comprehensive approach encompassing prevention of trafficking, including education and community empowerment; protection of victims, including return, recovery and reintegration; prosecution of traffickers, including law enforcement training; and through research.
IOM assists the Government of Indonesia’s efforts to regulate the movement of irregular migrants through Indonesia and its shores. Thousands have been intercepted or stranded in Indonesia en route to countries such as Australia after paying vast sums of money to people smugglers. IOM provides counseling, medical care, food and shelter to hundreds of people languishing in Indonesia and assistance to those who want to return home voluntarily.
IOM also supports Internally Displaced People (IDPs) following natural disasters, such as those which affected Aceh, Nias and Yogyakarta, and in post-conflict situations. IOM Indonesia has developed a comprehensive approach, providing extensive transportation and logistic support, constructing thousands of homes and schools, revitalizing community health services, training healthcare professionals, providing livelihood and reintegration support services for thousands of amnestied political prisoners and former combatants, and hundreds of conflict-affected communities. In Aceh, IOM’s approach has proven very successful in supporting the rebuilding of viable communities and constitutes one of IOM’s major successes in Indonesia.
IOM’s commitment to improve the quality of services provided by government institutions is also reflected in its six-year programme to support the Government’s efforts to reform the Indonesian National Police. IOM facilitates training on human rights and community policing, and helps set up forums where the police and community members jointly seek solutions to local law enforcement issues.
IOM Indonesia continues to address the outstanding needs of vulnerable and mobile populations throughout the archipelago; new programmes and projects under development will continue to do so in the years to come.