DESTINATION

Galang Camp


Galang Camp

Galang camp was closed in 1996 seven years after the Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indo-Chinese Refugees was adopted. All the Vietnamese refugees had been repatriated by the UNHCR. The transfer of the camp (technically, "Sinam Camp") from the UNHCR to the Indonesian Batam Industrial Development Authority (BIDA) took place officially in 1997. Most boat people who arrived in Galang were transferred from other islands like Natuna, Tarempa, Anambas.

Galang camp had many facilities and offices such as a camp administration office, PMI (Palang Merah Indonesia or Indonesian Red Cross Hospital) and UNHCR offices/staff premises. Many non-government organisations such as Save the Children and Écoles Sans Frontières also operated schools in the camp. Most refugees stayed in wooden long houses or makeshift accommodation. Their main activities in the camp were to study English and other languages, or learn vocational skills, while waiting for the results of their applications to determine their refugees status and resettlement in other countries.

Today, Galang Island is managed by the Batam Industrial Development Authority (BIDA). In 1992, according to Presidential Decree No. 28/1992, the expansion of BIDA Working Area included Rempang Island, Galang Island and small islands nearby. BIDA built 6 bridges which were inaugurated on 25 January 1998. The bridges connect Batam Island - Tonton Island - Nipah Island - Setoko Island - Rempang Island - Galang Island - Galang Baru (New Galang) Island in order to develop all these islands.