JRS Australia extends warm congratulations to our Board member, Muzafar Ali, who has been honoured with the 2022 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Fred Hollows Foundation for his work in establishing and supporting refugee-led educational facilities for refugees in Indonesia and advocating for durable solutions to be made available for them.
Muzafar Ali, himself a former refugee who resettled to Australia from Indonesia, joined the JRS Australia Board in 2021. He is a member of the Hazara community from Afghanistan and helped set up the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre (CRLC) to educate the children of refugees who have limited opportunities for an education in Indonesia. Over the years, CRLC has successfully trained students who have graduated to teach at the CRLC and even obtain scholarships elsewhere.
The Australian government announced in November 2014 that refugees in Indonesia who registered with UNHCR after 1 July that year will not be resettled to Australia. Now numbering over 13,000 people, this population has been devastatingly affected by the years of uncertainty about their future and lost opportunities which have resulted. Muzafar’s passionate advocacy on their behalf has strengthened JRS Australia’s efforts to seek a repeal of this cruel policy.
In reversing this policy, Australia would also address what is fast becoming a protracted refugee situation.
Australia should also resume the processing of applications for humanitarian protection that were registered in Indonesia before July 2014 but the processing of which stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic.