The Impact of Indonesia’s Refugee Policy 2016 - 2023: The Rohingya Refugees

Author: Muammar Hanif

Hanif, Muammar, 2023 The Impact of Indonesia’s Refugee Policy 2016 - 2023: The Rohingya Refugees, Flinders University, College of Business, Government and Law

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As a transit country for Rohingya refugees, the Republic of Indonesia confronts multiple challenges. The violence, persecution, arson, and starvation that afflicts the ethnic minority Rohingyas in Myanmar has caused them to flee. Thus, they try to relocate to new, presumably safer zones, such as the coasts of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Due to the violence from 2012 to the present, the Rohingya refugees have made landfall in Indonesia in multiple waves in tiny boats. They are seeking protection. However, not all arrive safely. Many of them die enroute due to starvation or other unfortunate circumstances. The Indonesian government has developed policies to manage the Rohingya refugees. However, both Indonesian citizens as the host country and Rohingya refugees face difficulties. As a developing nation, Indonesia already faces numerous challenges. The recent immense Rohingya refugee arrivals have become a significant national crisis which is threatening Indonesia's stability. This research aims to analyse the impacts of the Indonesian Rohingya refugee policy since 2016 to mid-2023. To examine the impacts of the policy, the researcher utilised the concept of Public Policy Evaluation and its relation with Foreign Policy. In this research, the researcher selected a sample of cases from Aceh, where many Rohingya refugees are hosted. The findings indicate that the Rohingya refugee issue has become a source of instability in Indonesia which has impacted the economic-political, social, and environmental aspects in Indonesia. Even though the Indonesian government has attempted to find a lasting resolution to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Aceh, this study has demonstrated that its efforts have largely failed. Therefore, it is recommended that the Indonesian government revise the Presidential Refugee Policy No. 125/2016 to ensure stability for Indonesia and Rohingya refugees who continue to reside in Indonesia.

Keywords: economic, political, social and environmental impacts, Indonesia, policy, refugee, Rohingya

Subject: International Studies thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2023
School: College of Business, Government and Law
Supervisor: Dr Valarie Sands