Repatriation for Rohingya asylum seekers in Indonesia: a durable but almost impossible solution

Heru Susetyo, Paul Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Rohingya are among multiple refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived in Indonesia without any certainty of their futures. For most Rohingya refugees, Indonesia is a transit country, where they register with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Refugee Agency before being allowed to relocate to third countries. Indonesia did not sign the 1951 Convention on Refugee Status and does not officially accept refugees for permanent resettlement. Refugees and asylum-seekers reaching Indonesia arrive there in several circumstances. Some are fleeing oppression, others have run out of money, others are involved in human-trafficking, and still others have become stranded on Indonesia’s beaches. There are three options for Rohingya people stranded in Indonesia: repatriation to Myanmar, reintegration to Indonesia, or seeking asylum in third countries (resettlement). However, the Indonesian government believes that a durable solution for the Rohingya in Indonesia is repatriation or resettlement. Based on historical traces and international law, Rohingya should have the absolute right to return to Myanmar. However, in practice, this is difficult. The attitude of the Myanmar regime, distrust of the Rohingya people toward Myanmar’s government, and lack of support from neighboring ASEAN countries are among the reasons why this option is particularly challenging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-84
Number of pages22
JournalAsian Affairs(UK)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • asylum-seekers
  • Indonesia
  • reparation
  • return
  • Rohingya


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