Journal for Deradicalization (Mar 2019)

The Deradicalisation Programme for Indonesian Deportees: A Vacuum in Coordination

  • Chaula Rininta Anindya

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Spring, no. 18
pp. 217 – 243


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This paper aims to describe and provide an assessment of the rehabilitation and reintegration programme for Indonesian deportees in 2017. Hundreds of Indonesians aspired to join the militant jihad in Syria, but many were arrested before entering the country. Deportees without criminal charges were sent to the Ministry of Social Affairs’ (Kemensos) shelters in East Jakarta to undergo a one-month rehabilitation programme. The rehabilitation was executed prematurely with the absence of clear guidelines. A reintegration programme should play a pivotal role in a long-term deradicalisation process. Yet, the acute problem of “sectoral ego” among Indonesian institutions hampers the effectiveness of the reintegration programme, as there are overlapping responsibilities between state agencies and non-governmental organisations. Severe competition among relevant stakeholders also slows down information sharing in the handling of deportees. This paper finds that sectoral ego has created significant obstacles for the reintegration programme. There are “too many hands” on one deportee, which makes it hard to assess which programme works more effectively. In addition, the deportees also receive several visits from various stakeholders that have similar offers and provide repetitive discussions, leading to some deportees becoming reluctant to cooperate. As a result, “too many cooks spoil the broth”. The relevant stakeholders must enhance transparency and coordination that is not limited to an agreement on paper. The management of deportees can also provide lessons for policy makers to improve broader CVE efforts in Indonesia.