Born on 13/10/1997, Ashfaq is a Pakistani Refugee, who has lived in Indonesia since 2013, He was shy of finishing middle school before he was chosen by his family to be the hope for opening a pathway for resettlement in a safe country. His family has paid people smugglers to help him to get out of the country and make his way to come to Australia. Being a member of Shia Muslim minority in Pakistan, his family and his community face target attacks, and persecutions both from the Taliban and the Sunni majority government. His two older brothers have tried and failed to find safe resettlement options, and they’re both missing as well. Ashfaq was his family’s last hope.
He took a journey through Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia before making his way (and failed in the process) to come through to Australia. Indonesian officials intercepted him in his journey and as a result, he was detained in an immigration centre in Manado for 2 years by the Indonesian officials. Being underage when he left his country, Ashfaq was very naive and clueless and had not been informed properly about methods of seeking protection. This leads him to where he is today, remaining forever in legal limbo and uncertainty. His family has to; sold a lot of assets in order to pay for the people smuggler’s and they are sending themselves broke for the hope of safety elsewhere.
Indonesia has so far considered them Illegal immigrants. Indonesia isn't a signatory of the UN Refugee Convention. After 2 years, he was eventually released and has been living in an open detention centre for refugees in the city of Makassar ever since. Most refugees in Indonesia are registered by UNHCR, but the organisation has failed to resettle 99% of these people, as a result. All of these people are facing an indefinite wait in Indonesia, and none of these people have an option to get back home. Their options for resettlement are very limited.