Last Updated: Monday, 11 December 2017, 15:40 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants World Refugee Survey 2005 - Indonesia

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 20 June 2005
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants World Refugee Survey 2005 - Indonesia , 20 June 2005, available at: [accessed 11 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)  There were about 500,000 IDPs in Indonesia, most of whom fled religious and ethnic violence between 1997 and 2002. They included 202,000 in Maluku Province, 130,000 ethnic Madurese migrants displaced from Central Kalimantan Province to East Java Province by fighting with indigenous Dayaks, 90,000 displaced from North Maluku to North Sulawesi, 34,000 in North Maluku, and 28,000 in West Timor. In April 2004, over 10,000 persons in Maluku fled fighting between Christians and Muslims in Ambon city that killed 40 people (mostly Muslims, some by sniper fire), injured 300, and destroyed more than 800 homes after independence supporters celebrated the 54th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of the South Moluccas. The Government's ongoing military operation against the 25-year-old Free Aceh Movement (GAM), from April 2003 through December 2004, displaced at least 125,000 people, often temporarily. In the highlands of West Papua, Indonesian military operations in August through January displaced as many as 6,000 persons.

With the exception of Aceh and Maluku, many of Indonesia's provinces were recovering from conflict and about 300,000 IDPs returned home or chose to settle permanently elsewhere.

The Government recognized IDPs as citizens and provided some assistance, but in January, reclassified them as "vulnerable people," shifting the responsibility for basic welfare and local integration from the central government to provincial authorities and causing regional discrepancies in assistance.

IDPs had the right to work. The Government issued national identity cards to all citizens, specifying permanent places of residence. Loss of the card resulted in uncertain legal status and greatly complicated many basic transactions such as buying and selling land and voting. The Government imposed no obstacles to prevent the displaced from leaving the country to seek asylum. However, the Government detained anyone it suspected of engaging in illegal activities or separatism.

IDPs largely depended on international agencies, including the World Health Organization, CARE, Mercy Corps, and Save the Children, for assistance. The Government required agencies to seek its permission and documentation to work in specific regions and severely restricted the entry of foreigners and aid agencies into Aceh where the armed forces conducted a military offensive.

Copyright 2005, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

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