MMC Asia 4Mi Snapshot – Rohingya refugees in Indonesia: a focus on smuggling, information, and financing (December 2022)

This snapshot explores the experience of smuggling among Rohingya refugees en route to Indonesia, with the key objective of contributing to evidence-based advocacy efforts and protection responses for Rohingya refugees. The Myanmar government and non-state actors have displaced Rohingya populations for decades through persecution and systemic discrimination. This displacement has reached new heights since 2017, with close to a million Rohingya refugees now in Bangladesh, and many others braving sea and land routes to Southeast Asia – particularly to Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Since 2021, MMC has been conducting surveys with Rohingya refugees in the region in order to better understand regional movements, experiences, demographics, and other elements of displacement.


Key findings


96% of respondents used smuggler(s) at some point in their journey to Indonesia.

Most of the respondents embarked on their journeys despite not having the information they need about the journey, demonstrating an information gap that serves to increase protection risks.

Almost two-thirds of the respondents (65%) who used a smuggler or multiple smugglers at some point in their journey agreed that they were intentionally misled about the journey by smugglers in advance of and during the journey.

Family and friends played a crucial role in supporting the respondents’ journey financially.


Source: Mixed Migration Centre