Most asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia come from Jakarta. During our last discussion night the question was raised – how do they get there? Do they come by plane, by boat? If they come from Malaysia, how do people get to KL?
People get to Jakarta by varying forms of transport, depending on where they leave from, but most don’t fly (though not all.) Brigid has met people who have reached Jakarta by some extraordinarily circuitous routes, including people who have been as far as Norway seeking refuge.
This question is raised regularly and is often asked to find out if those seeking asylum have enough money to travel. The implication is that if they have money, they should not need to seek asylum. It’s a common myth, and one that should be addressed: People who seek protection on the whole are not destitute, but it is a myth that someone who has money cannot be a bona fide refugee.
Money does not protect people from persecution. For some, it does help get them out of a bad situation.