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An intergovernmental organization established in 1951, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

  • 157 Members and more than 100 observers
  • More than 480 field locations
  • More than 8,400 staff working on more than 2,600 projects
  • More than US$ 1.3 billion expenditures in 2013

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Capital Jakarta
Population (2013): 249.9 million
Area:  1,860,360 km sq
Languages :  Bahasa Indonesian
Currency:  Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
GDP per Capita PPP  (2013): USD 9,559
HDI Rank (2013): 108 of 187
Remittances (2013 estimate):  USD 7,614 million
Net Migration Rate (2010-2015):     -0.6 migrants/1,000 population
Immigrants (2013):  0.1%
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants  (2013): 38.1%
Population under 15 (2013): 29%
Adult HIV Prevalence (2013):  0.46%
Sources and Definitions


IOM Indonesia is currently one of IOM’s largest global missions. With a population of almost 240 million across an archipelago spanning 5,000 kilometres and comprising 17,600 islands, Indonesia is a prime source, destination, and transit country for migrants. Internally, complex migration patterns are influenced by natural disasters, demands for labour in what is a rapidly developing country, and economically driven migrations related to climate change and environmental degradation.

IOM Indonesia has built on its close working relationship with the Government of Indonesia, local government institutions, partners in the non-government sector, and local communities to support national and regional capacity-building efforts and to provide direct assistance to migrants in need. IOM has built on the strengths of its history in Indonesia to grow the Organization’s operations in accordance with the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

IOM’s rapid, flexible approach has established it as a major partner in the Government of Indonesia’s responses to disasters and the displacement of internal populations. In several medium to larger scale natural disasters IOM has been at the forefront of emergency response and development assistance efforts in Indonesia.

Movement, Emergency and Post-conflict Migration Management


IOM Indonesia’s Emergency and Post-Crisis Management activities look at disaster responses to the West Sumatra earthquakes in 2010 and recently in West Java, tracking IOM’s emergency and post-emergency operations activities. IOM’s logistical expertise placed IOM at the centre of the emergency response to the West Sumatran earthquake, with IOM overseeing the movement of thousands of tonnes of aid throughout the affected region in the days and weeks following the disaster. IOM’s medical assistance reaches even the remote areas in the affected regions, including capacity building through a series of training on Psychosocial First Aid and Safe Medical Evacuation for medical personnel. The Organization carries on its post-emergency assistance activities in Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces which were hit by earthquakes in recent years.

In Aceh, IOM is supporting economic recovery and development through improvement in financial access and technical assistance to coffee farmers, cooperatives and coffee-related business in Bener Meriah and Aceh Tengah districts. These two regions received very little attention due to their instability and inaccessibility as post-conflict areas.

As part of the post-disaster recovery programme in Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces, IOM had helped in restoring 3,000 micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in the earthquake-affected areas under its Livelihoods Programme funded by the multi-donor Java Reconstruction Fund (JRF).

The programme had contributed to the recovery and expansion of MSEs by providing productive assets at the level of individuals, producer groups, cooperatives, villages and communities, as well as providing training in accounting, business development, marketing and technical skills. The beneficiary enterprises include handicraft production (Javanese batik, silver), organic farming, tofu production, fish farming, cattle and goat rearing, and traditional weaving. To date, 59 per cent of the programme’s beneficiaries have been women, significantly contributing to their empowerment.

The other component of the JRF programme is Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), an area in which the IOM mission in Indonesia is increasing its activities. Following the Merapi 2010 eruption and West Java earthquake, IOM is supporting the DRR forum in terms of coordination and information management to disseminate risk reduction messages to affected populations and other relevant stakeholders.

Main Projects

  • Emergency Disaster Response in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Roof Structures Assistance to Earthquake-affected Communities in Yogyakarta and Central Java
  • Tsunami Emergency Relief Program (TERP) – Emergency Appeal
  • Immediate Emergency Relief in Nias and Simeulue Islands – Indonesia (Nias Phase I)
  • Transitional Shelter Assistance to Earthquake Affected Communities in Yogyakarta and Central Java
  • Emergency Disaster Response in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Transport and Logistical Support for Tsunami Recovery and Reconstruction in Indonesia (Aceh)

Migration Health


IOM’s Migration Health programme spans a broad array of health activities, from the orderly and voluntary return of medical evacuees in post-disaster situations to the provision of direct medical and psychosocial assistance to migrants in distress, including victims of conflict, natural disasters, and of human trafficking.

Millions of Indonesian workers leave their families and villages to work in cities, factories, construction sites, mines and plantations all over the country. Hundreds of thousands of others leave Indonesia each year to work abroad; 80 per cent are women who migrate to work in the domestic and caregiver sectors. Irregular migration through the country’s porous borders with Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Malaysia and Singapore is also increasing, making migrants more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, harassment and marginalization from health and social services.

In addition, internal displacement as a result of conflict or natural disasters increases the burden on the country’s generally under-resourced public health and social services. IOM with its partners continued to respond to migration and public health challenges in Indonesia through its various health programmes:

  • Psychosocial and mental health programmes for post-conflict affected communities
  • Emergency medical response for victims of natural disasters
  • Integrated HIV and population mobility awareness-raising for targeted beneficiaries of IOM programmes and services
  • Migration health assessments for migrants and refugees
  • Health and psychosocial services for irregular migrants and victims of trafficking

Main Projects

  • Improving Child, Maternal and Community Health in Western Districts of Aceh Province, Special Focus on Temporary Living Centres
  • Direct Health and Psychosocial Assistance Programme – Extension Phase
  • Rehabilitation and Capacity Building of Primary Health Care Centres Damaged by the Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia
  • Rapid Capacity Building of Health Staff In Bireuen - Phase II
  • Direct Health and Psychosocial Assistance Project for Former GAM Combatants, Amnestied Prisoners and Other Vulnerable Persons Associated with the Demobilization and Peace Building Process in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam
  • Rapid Capacity Building for Primary Health Care Staff on Management of Birth Asphyxia and Post Partum Hemorrhage in Bireuen District, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam
  • IOM Community Health Revitalization Programme

Regulating Migration


In Indonesia, IOM’s activities in the field of regulating migration focus on counter-trafficking, safe migration and building the capacity of Indonesia’s law enforcement sector in the areas of migration and human rights.

With irregular migration on the rise across the region, IOM continues to assist irregular migrants in Indonesia through the provision of vital services including health assistance and voluntary returns.

Counter-Trafficking. Since 2003, IOM has actively contributed to Indonesia’s efforts to fight human trafficking by supporting the establishment of a comprehensive and sustainable law enforcement programme and a corresponding victim assistance and protection programme, as well as providing direct return, recovery and reintegration assistance to both internally and externally trafficked persons. The Organization has recently released five major resources: an updated Guidelines for Law Enforcement and the Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Handling Trafficking in Persons Cases; a new Manual for Officers Handling People Smuggling and Other People Smuggling Related Crimes; and three comprehensive training curricula tailored to the Indonesian National Police (INP), public prosecutors, and judges dealing with cases of human trafficking.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians leave the country to work abroad. The Government of Indonesia estimates that there are about 4.3 million Indonesian migrant workers (TKIs) legally working overseas, and remitting annually more than USD 6 billion to Indonesia. Women account for nearly 80 per cent of Indonesia’s total migration outflow – the highest in Southeast Asia – with most Indonesian female migrants being recruited in the informal sector as live-in domestic workers.

However, migration flows from Indonesia also count large number of migrants leaving the country through often cheaper, albeit riskier, irregular channels, while many others, especially female migrants, fall prey to unscrupulous recruitment practices, physical and sexual abuse, financial extortion as well as other forms of exploitation such as trafficking in persons.

According to IOM Indonesia’s data generated by its Direct Assistance Programme for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, nearly 70 per cent of the 3,780 victims so far assisted were trafficked either overseas or domestically for labour purposes and 55 per cent were forced into domestic servitude, reflecting a high prevalence of labour trafficking from and within Indonesia. Of the total number of victims assisted, 90 per cent were women and nearly 24 per cent were under-aged children, mostly girls.

IOM Indonesia is taking an upstream prevention approach that aims at providing, in partnership with local government authorities and community-based organizations, timely and accurate information on labour migration and risks of trafficking to communities identified as key source areas of migration.

Managing Irregular Migration. Irregular migration is major issue of concern in migration management as, over the years, more migrants turn to organized criminal syndicates to realize their dream of a better life.

IOM works closely with the Indonesian and Australian authorities to support their efforts to regulate the movement of irregular migrants through Indonesia. Through The tripartite Regional Cooperation Agreement signed in 2001 by the Government of Australia, the Government of Indonesia and IOM, refugees, asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers are referred to IOM by Immigration or by UNHCR. They receive basic accommodation, medical care, allowance for food, and counseling from IOM field staff.

Since 2007, IOM has been implementing the Reinforcing Management of Irregular Migration (RMIM) project. This project includes the detection and monitoring of patterns of irregular migration flows in Indonesia; raising awareness of irregular migration through information campaigns targeting both relevant government officials and local communities; and providing training to the relevant law enforcement officials at both local and provincial levels.

Through RMIM, IOM Indonesia contributes to the capacity building of Indonesian institutions engaged in tackling irregular migration the country including the Immigration office, the Indonesian National Police and law enforcement. Series of workshop and socialization are conducted across the country to reach all levels of society.

Capacity Building. Since its launch in 2004, IOM’s National Police Reform Training Programme has supported the INP’s reform efforts, encompassing training in community policing (CP) and human rights, the establishment of Community Police Partnership Forums, and the enhancement of the INP’s education and training systems.

IOM and the INP continue to extend their cooperation to the province of Aceh since January 2011, with support from the European Union, contributing to consolidation of the police reform in order to support the Helsinki Peace Accords. This is the second phase of cooperation, following the completion of the three-year project “Support to the police reform in Aceh” funded by The Royal Netherlands Embassy and European Union.

IOM’s police project in Aceh aims to reduce conflict and underpin a return to peace and security in the conflict-affected province. Community policing and the development of police-community partnerships to address crime can also pave the way for dialogue and cooperation to resolve problems within the community, reducing the risk of a return to conflict.

The project trained over 8,700 police officers from 2006 to 2009. The training focused on community policing, respect for human rights and the need to restore trust between the police and the community after nearly three decades of conflict. For 18 months starting in 2011, the project aims to train 3,000 more police officers. The training will also help police officers in dealing with vulnerable groups, including, for example, victims of human trafficking. Related video: "Policing the Peace in Aceh Province"

Another major step towards reform, especially in INP acknowledgement of international human rights principles, is the formulation and eventual passing of INP Chief Regulation no. 8/2009 on “Implementation of Human Rights Principles and Standards in the Discharge of Duties of the Indonesian National Police” on 22 June 2009.

With funding from the EC, IOM supports the INP in the implementation of its community policing in the context of the National Action Plan on Human Rights (RANHAM). In coordination with the Director General of Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and the existing national and provincial RANHAM committees, IOM and INP are monitoring the nation-wide implementation of the RANHAM through technical assistance, training and support with the information dissemination.

Main Projects

  • Support for National Police Reform in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam
  • Strengthening the Indonesian National Police through Institution Building Phase II (Part 1)
  • Reinforcing Management of Irregular Migration in Indonesia through the Setting Up of a Network of Monitoring and Cooperation Offices / RMIM-Enhance
  • Regional Cooperative Model to Combat People Trafficking and Irregular People Movements
  • Management and Care of Intercepted Irregular Immigrants Project for the Republic of Indonesia
  • Strengthening the Indonesian National Police through Institution Building Phase II (Part 2)

Migration, Climate Change and Environmental Degradation

Indonesia's geographical location along the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", tropical climate, topography and physical geography along with high vulnerabilities and low adaptive capacities expose the country to a wide range of frequent destructive and life threatening natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and dry mass movements.

Natural disasters have had heavy social, physical, economic and also psychosocial impacts on Indonesia. Between 1989 and 2008, 186,193 people were killed, 407,633 were injured, 14,086,350 were affected, and 1,573,143 were rendered homeless while the cost of the damage caused is estimated at over US$20.7 billion. These statistics are a testament to the need for increased efforts and interventions in Disaster Risk Reduction as well as a multi-hazard programmatic approach.

Since IOM first commenced activities in Indonesia in 1979, its project scope in the field of disaster preparedness, mitigation and management has expanded significantly particularly after the December 2004 tsunami that struck Aceh and Nias, and the earthquake that struck Nias again in March 2005. IOM continued to support the response efforts of the Government of Indonesia following the devastating earthquakes in Yogyakarta and Central Java (May 2006), Padang/West Sumatra (2007 and 2009) and West Java (2009), and more recently the Mentawai/West Sumatra tsunami and volcanic eruption of Mt. Merapi near Yogyakarta (2010).

In order to strengthen community resilience, IOM has provided immediate and longer term livelihood opportunities to communities affected by the 2004 Tsunami and 2006 Earthquake in Yogyakarta and Central Java, through integrated training on Disaster Preparedness and Prevention, safe construction practices, and the promotion of sustainable livelihood interventions such as environmentally friendly farming techniques.

Main Project

  • Enhancing Disaster Preparedness and Response Capacity in Garut District, West Java

Last updated:
Main text: August 2011
Facts and figures: August 2014

Migration Initiatives