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The heartbreaking life of Somali refugee women in Indonesia – in pictures

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The heartbreaking life of Somali refugee women in Indonesia – in pictures



Somalian refugee women sit at the Mosque of Al Barokah in Jakarta for safety at night. Like many Somalian refugee women smuggled to Indonesia after Al-Shabaab militants raped them or murdered their family, they have fallen through the aid safety net and live on the street.
Rahma poses for a photograph in Jakarta. The 25-year-old narrowly escaped death when militants beheaded her father and burned her remaining family members alive in an attack on her family’s business, which had government employees as customers.
Homeless Somalian refugee Rahma
Somalian refugee Igra descends the stairs of a Jakarta boarding house. The former hotel owner fled her country in 2015 after militants threatened to cut off her hands for refusing to close down her business.
Homeless Somalian refugee Igra
Refugee women cannot legally work or access social security in Indonesia. The women say their appeals for aid from the UNHCR and aid organisations have been turned down. They drift from one boarding house to the next where they beg other refugees for food.
Somali refugees in an Indonesian boarding house
Igra sits in a boarding house in Jakarta. If the women are fortunate, they will stay in a boarding house for a few days before the landlord moves them along to sleep rough or on the steps of a local mosque.
Igra sits in a boarding house in Jakarta.
Homeless Somalia refugee Anisa sleeps on the verandah of a Jakarta boarding house. At night refugee women living on the street face the added danger of sexual violence. They say men regularly try to force them into sex or proposition them with offers of as little as a dollar.
Homeless Somalian refugee Anisa

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