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Field Visit of Urban Refugee Team




On the 8 th and 9 th of February 2019, the Urban Refugees team from RDI conducted a follow up interview with several refugees in Bogor and Jakarta. A previous visit was
conducted the week prior to connect with some of the refugees, and this follow up
visit was conducted to gather in-depth data regarding the theme: “The meaning of
‘Places’ for refugees identity”. The team consisted of Junior RDI researcher Rizkita
Mardea Nurdiandra and RDI intern Muhammad Anugrah Saputra.

The team first visited the refugee community in Bogor and interviewed three youth
refugees in the community. They told stories of their journey to reach Indonesia with
1 respondent having lived in Indonesia since 2013. The team was able to learn about
their daily activities around the neighborhood, as well as places they visit and avoid.
The respondents were also very welcoming to the team as they provided
refreshments such as traditional milk tea from their home country. The following day
the team visited a refugee housing in Jakarta, where the building was helped
financed by a local NGO. The team was able to meet and interview two other
refugees. Similar to the interviews in Bogor, they told stories of their experience in
Indonesia and the neighborhood around them. The interview with the refugees in
Jakarta was conducted mostly in Indonesian, as the refugees were comfortable to
discuss in Bahasa Indonesia.

On the 11 th – 12 th of February 2019, the team paid a visit to SUAKA, Komunitas
Selasih, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and the UNHCR. SUAKA consists of pro
bono lawyers who stand for refugees’ human rights in Indonesia, therefore an
interesting discussion on Indonesia regulations’ gaps and opportunities to enhance
livelihoods of refugees was raised during the visit. Komunitas Selasih consists of
volunteers who have been providing generous day-to-day assistance for refugees
stranded at the Kalideres. As for CRS -- it is the main partner of UNHCR that deals
with socio-economic issues of refugees. Finally, the meeting with a UNHCR
representative reconfirmed our construction of thoughts built throughout the series of meetings with various stakeholders related to urban refugees.

In total the Urban Refugees team were able to interview 5 refugees with similar
ethnic backgrounds living in different neighborhoods in Indonesia. The different
urban setting in correlation with their answers brings forth an interesting discussion
for the theme of this research.