Legal Support

UNHCR can provide support to refugees and asylum seekers experiencing legal protection concerns.  The Legal Protection Hotline is available for individuals experiencing an emergency in Indonesia, particularly when they are at risk of refoulement, arrest, and detention. The hotline is open to individuals seeking international protection regardless of whether they have been able to register with UNHCR and is free of charge. 

Are you in danger of being deported?

The Government is bound by international and national laws to not return you to your home country if you reached Indonesia and are seeking asylum. However, there have been situations in which individuals who indicate an intention to seek asylum at borders are refused entry to Indonesia or held or detained at entry points (air and sea), including at the airport’s international zone, or in immigration detention facilities.  If you are pressured to return to your home country, you may stress that you are seeking international protection in Indonesia and contact the Legal Protection Hotline for further support. While the final decision is made by the Government, UNHCR will advocate for access to register you and request the Government to not deport you.

Are you at risk of being detained or are you currently detained in an Immigration office or detention facility?

While Indonesia has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention, the Indonesian Constitution and various national laws provide grounds to seek asylum in Indonesia. However, Indonesian immigration still maintains authority to detain asylum-seekers and refugees at the border, in Immigration Detention Centers, or immigration offices if a foreigner is perceived to violate the Immigration law and rules. In the past, refugees and asylum-seekers have been detained for a number of reasons, including breaking accommodation curfew, driving motorcycles, or engaging in livelihood activities. If you are detained by Immigration, you may contact the Legal Protection hotline for further support. UNHCR will contact the authorities and you to understand your case and advocate for your release from Immigration detention.  

It is very important to be mindful of Indonesia’s laws, rules, and customs to avoid detention. You may consult Know Your Right Handbook to better understand your rights and obligations in Indonesia. 

Are you a victim or perpetrator of a crime and require legal assistance?

Refugees and asylum-seekers should report to the police if you are experiencing threats to your safety and well-being, either from fellow refugees or from non-refugees. Examples include physical assault, threats to your safety, and gender-based violence. Please note that all victims, survivors, and perpetrators in Indonesia have the right to be accompanied by a paralegal or a lawyer when under police investigation or undergoing a criminal trial. Please also note that while refugee perpetrators should benefit from legal representation, UNHCR will not interfere with or try to prevent criminal prosecution if you commit a crime in Indonesia.   

While you may seek private legal support, in some cases, UNHCR partners are available to provide legal advice to refugees and asylum seekers free of charge. 

SUAKA provides legal advice to people seeking asylum. They also produce SUAKA Self-Help Kits which are available on their website free of charge. You can find more details on their site at 

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) provides advice to asylum seekers who live in the Bogor/Cisarua area of West Java Province. You can find more details on their site at JRS 

Are you receiving discrimination or harmful treatment from other refugees or locals?

Refugees and asylum-seekers may be at risk of discriminatory or harmful treatment due to their nationality, status as a refugee, sexual orientation and gender identity, or other specific factors. If you feel your safety is threatened, please contact the Legal Protection hotline for support.  

If you are not experiencing an emergency but wish to speak with UNHCR about a legal protection concern, please submit a request through our Kobo Online Inquiry Form and select the “Protection and security incidents” option for the topic of your inquiry.