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RDI Urban Refugee Pop-Up Discussion #1 "Introduction: Urban Refugees in Indonesia"

The influx of refugees into countries and cities is an emerging global issue. In 2018, there are more than 70.8 million of possibly displaced people worldwide. Asia and the Pacific alone hosts some 4.2 million refugees, majority from Afghanistan and Myanmar, 2.7 million IDPs and 1.6 million stateless persons. Of this number, two thirds live in urban areas. The roles of cities in migration management are also acknowledged in the 2016 New Urban Agenda, the 2018 Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and Global Compact for Refugees (GCR). This includes a recognition of the need of supporting local authorities, finding new mechanisms for local engagement, and identifying new ways of working between humanitarian and development actors. Against this backdrop, there is an urgency to gain better understanding of the refugee issue. Since the issue is perennial, we would be expected to see more refugees and displaced people in the future due to war and conflicts, climate crisis, as well as economic crisis precipitated by the recent pandemic COVID-19.

Since Indonesia has not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention, refugees and asylum seekers are not allowed to settle in Indonesia. Nonetheless, Indonesia and other ASEAN countries such as Malaysia and Thailand, abide by the principle of non-refoulement. Thus, Indonesia is expected to play an important role in managing refugees in Southeast Asia. The recent arrival of Rohingya Refugees in North Aceh, although problematic, demonstrates the willingness of society to contribute to refugee management. Indonesia still has lots more to work on in order to be actively involved in the refugee management, particularly to ensure that the jurisdiction and regulation in handling refugees will properly address the influx of refugees and its predecessors, and to raise awareness and build positive discourse on refugees issues among society.

In light of this, a thorough discussion regarding urban refugees especially during and post- pandemic is urgently needed. Hence, RDI Urban Refugee holds a webinar that aims to provide a general description of urban refugee phenomenon in Indonesia while raising awareness of urban refugee issues to the intended audiences (academics, researchers, observers and advocates of refugees, refugees community, other groups, stakeholders and individuals).


  • Identify the situation and the living condition of urban refugee in Indonesia.
  • Address the adverse long-term impacts on urban refugees.
  • Identify the needs and prioritized initiatives that can improve the quality of life and capacity of urban refugees in Indonesia.


  • Gather academics, researchers, observers and advocates of refugees, refugees community, various stakeholders and individuals to discuss about urban refugees as a part of collaborative engagement.
  • Foster a positive environment of open communication involving groups from all social circles.

Time and Platform:
Friday, 14th August 2020 at 15:00 - 17:00 PM Western Indonesia Time (UTC +7)
Zoom Meeting Room &  RDI Youtube Live


Opening and welcome
13.00 - 13.10
Opening Remarks
Moderator: Suryani Amin - RDI Senior Research Fellow
Remarks from Resilience Development Initiative
Director of RDI


-Moderator and speakers

-Explanation about the flow and rules of the session to the audiences

Moderator (Risye Dwiyani)

Session 1: Urban Refugees in Indonesia

Session 2: Sovereignty vs Humanitarianism in Indonesian Refugee Governance

Session 3: Being a Refugee in Indonesia

Session 4: Refugee Community in Urban Areas: representing self through collaborative art project, an experience with (Ethiopian) Oromo community

Dr. Akino Tahir

Yunizar Adiputera, MA

Mr. Naweed Aieen

Dr. Dave Lumenta

Questions & Answers, Discussion
Moderator (Risye Dwiyani)
Wrap Up
Moderator (Risye Dwiyani)
* All subjects and speakers involved in this webinar may change at any time.

Last updated 22 February 2023

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