"One thing that Australian government did, I frankly think shameful!!," Susan Banki complained in a Public Lecture recently at Graduate program Seminar Room, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada. Speaking at a public lecture Durable Solutions or Durable Problems? The Case of Competing Regimes, Susan was infuriated that Australian government which made an agreement with Indonesian Government to deport Afghan refugees to their country.
She conveyed that refugees from countries which are having war, after conflict of under social problems, often use Indonesia as an alternative before they go to Australia. Recently, as many as 34 refugees from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan were caught in Samas Beach, Bantul Regency. “Their intention to start their lives in Australia ends up in jail, waiting to be deported based on the agreement between Indonesian and Australian governments,” said Susan, Human Rights Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney.
In Susan Banki’s analysis, those events can occur due to rivalry of games rule of norms which regulate refugee affairs. The norm is related to the resettlement of refugees in other countries.
Related to this, there are two opposite groups. On the one hand, one group believes that development is linear where refugee’s status can be done through annual tripartite discussion among UNHCR, Governments and NGOs. On the other hand, there is what is named by the lecturer from New York as “everywhere else” that mobilizes refugees to a camp and returns them to their country.
Susan mentioned that both of them have follower basis. The first followers are bureaucracy in target resettlement countries, such as the US, Canada and the Netherlands, religious organizations and local foundations. The second is IOM and various International Humanity Organizations. “Meanwhile, an organization which follows both beliefs is the UNHCR,” Susan said.
The public lecture moderated by Amalinda Savirani, Lecturer of Political and Governmental Department, UGM Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, was getting more interesting when it entered the Question and Answer session. Many participants from Pakistan, Australia and Indonesia joined this discussion session. They also shared stories about refugees in their respective countries.
One of interesting stories is from participant from Indonesia who told about under-aged Indonesian fishermen who were “tricked” by refugees to go out from Indonesian waters to Australia. The Indonesian government ignored them in order to maintain good relations with Australia.
“The public lecture entitled Durable Solutions or Durable Problems: The Case of Competing Regimes was interesting. It provides much information about norms and multiple regulations to address problems of refugees. Moreover, in each there is conflict of interest. At the end of the lecture, one of participants had the opportunity to give an interesting suggestion. Actually, there is no single regulation/norm that competes with each other. The existing one is rule of the game to get bigger financial profit,” Amalinda Savirani said.