Human Rights Watch Indonesia release report

Human Rights Watch Indonesia: On 24th June 2013, Human Rights Watch released its report “Barely Surviving: Detention, Abuse, Neglect of Migrant Children in Indonesia,” detailing Indonesia’s treatment of migrant children – both accompanied and unaccompanied.

The report describes how Indonesian authorities frequently and arbitrarily detain migrant and asylum-seeking children in sordid conditions for months or years (Indonesian law permits up to 10 years of immigration detention), without access to lawyers or a way to challenge their detention.

Violence is reportedly common in Indonesian immigration detention centres, with children either subject to, or forced to witness such violence.

Unaccompanied children (of which more than 1,000 arrived in Indonesia in 2012) can be especially vulnerable due to the absence of a government agency responsible for their guardianship; they either languish in detention or are left to fend for themselves, without any assistance with food or shelter. Full report.

See also this op-ed by Alice Farmer of Human Rights Watch (one of the authors of the report) highlighting that immigration detention of children is a regional problem