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Indonesia Performance at the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Indonesia was re-elected as a UN Human Rights Council Member from 2015 to 2017. As a democratic country in ASEAN, Indonesia occupies an important position in the region. During the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council, Indonesia actively delivered statements on issues of concern to the country. It raised issues of migrant workers and responded to the report of the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. It also discussed its commitment to the SDGs and the right to development. Indonesia has officially invited the Special Rapporteur on Health to visit the country in 2017 for further engagement.

In spite of these positive developments, Indonesia remains silent on some critical domestic and regional issues , including follow-up to human rights violations against Papuans; summary executions; and violations against the Rohingya in Burma/Myanmar.

NGOs often draw the Council’s attention to the human rights situation in West Papua as it is one of the most isolated areas in the world. There are many reported cases of arbitrary arrests by Indonesian security forces of indigenous Papuans for participating in peaceful gatherings. While Franciscans International delivered a joint statement with the Human Rights Working Group Indonesia on this issue during the General Debate, Indonesia remained silent.

Although Indonesia offered temporary shelter for Rohingya people, it did not deliver a statement on issues involving the Rohingya or other ethnic groups in Burma/Myanmar following the presentation of the High Commissioner.

Indonesia also attempted to avoid a sensitive issue in the country when it voted against a draft resolution on “violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity”. Indonesia claimed that it based its decision on respect for socio-cultural and religious values, norms and morality. However, in reality it would appear that it decided not to respect fundamental human rights of certain individuals.

Indonesia was part of the core group that introduced the resolution A/HRC/RES/32/32 on “the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association”, along with other Asian countries such as the Maldives and the Philippines. While this may show Indonesia’s international appreciation for the involvement of civil society in maintaining a democratic society, the freedom of assembly and association inside Indonesia is at risk. LGBTI groups, ethnic groups, religious minority groups, and other individuals have been considered threats to sovereignty and ideology in Indonesia.

 

Originally published in: FORUM-ASIA

Joint Statement : Indonesian CSO Regrets the Government’s Position on SOGI Resolution

[GENEVA, 30 JUNE 2016] Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) Indonesia and Arus Pelangi deeply regret to the vote against the resolution A/HRC/32/L.2/Rev.1 on “violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)” that has been adopted on the 32nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council,Geneva, Switzerland. The intention of the resolution is to appoint an Independent Expert on the protection against violence and discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity(SOGI) for three years period according to the given mandate.

Although the resolution finally has been adopted with results as 23 in favour, 18 against, and 6 abstain, the resolution was required 3,5 hours to discuss and debates. Pakistan (on behalf the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), except Albania) has amended several points on the resolution. Historically, the resolution wanted to clarify and reaffirm that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or another opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or another status. It is also to strongly deplore acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In their statement, the Government of Indonesia has said that due to the sensitivity of issue particularly for those who have differences in socio-cultural, religion norms and morality, the draft resolution, as well as the several amendments which have been made, the concept was still lack of recognition on different culture, norms and views of other society. In conclusion, the Government of Indonesia is unable to support and vote against the resolution. They also clarified that they will not want to cooperate with the Independent Expert of SOGI, even if the mandate is created, as reported by Astrid Maharani, Program Officer for UN Advocacy, HRWG Indonesia, which also undergoing the Fellowship Programme in Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) based in Geneva, Switzerland.

As we have seen in recent years, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups have become the target of irresponsible individual/groups which frequently using violent, discriminate, and stigmatise them of what they have. Even in some countries, many of them got killed, being hated, or even being exiled in the community.

In Indonesia recently, there are numerous of the anti-gay statements even made by public officials. It was increasingly hateful rhetoric shows no sign of abating. The rejection of the Government of Indonesia at the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council also has extended list of repression by the State. Until this year, Arus Pelangi recorded at least 17 Indonesian policy explicitly discriminate against or criminalize people with diverse SOGI. This does not include the policy in its implementation LGBTI oppressive. Democracy spaces on LGBTI groups were banned by the prohibition of implementation of activities by the police and a disregard for the case of the attack on LGBTI activities.

In this regard, HRWG Indonesia and Arus Pelangi urge the Government of Indonesia to respect and uphold the new resolution based on SOGI to protect and respect individual/groups that are belonging to SOGI, as well as to cooperate with the Independent Expert in the discharge of the mandate, including by providing all of information requested. It intends to raise awareness of violence and discrimination against person on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as to engage in dialogue and to consult with States and other relevant stakeholders, including United Nations agencies, programmes and funds, regional human rights mechanisms, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and academic institutions.

The rejection also shows clearly that the Government of Indonesia has betrayed their citizen. The results of the study “Revealing Stigma, Discrimination, and Violence on LGBT in Indonesia” conducted by Arus Pelangi, Komunitas Sehati Makassar, and PLUSH on  2013 have uncovered facts that horrible: 89.3% LGBT in Indonesia got violence based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression with details as follows: 79.1% experienced psychological violence, physical violence 46.3%, economic violence 26.3%, sexual assault 45.1%, and cultural violence 63.3%.

In this regard, we would like to call for:

  1. The Government of Indonesia to respect and uphold the new resolution based on SOGI to protect and respect individual/groups that are belonging to the SOGI, as well as to cooperate with the Independent Expert in the discharge of the mandate, including by providing all of information requested. This intends to raise awareness of violence and discrimination against person on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as to engage in dialogue and to consult with States and other relevant stakeholders;
  2. The Government of Indonesia to run completely and faithful to the mandate of the Indonesia citizen contained in the 1945 Constitution, every person shall be protected by the State, regardless of their background;
  3. The National Human Rights Commission (KOMNAS HAM) of the Republic of Indonesia to:
  • Significantly embodies its supervisory mandate with a strong warning to the Government of Indonesia regarding its position at the Human Rights Council;
  • Taking notes the Government of Indonesia position in the report of Observation of the implementation of human rights, as stated in the Article 89 of Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights;
  • Continues to be committed and sincere in implementing the dissemination of knowledge of human rights to its citizen.

To the Indonesia civil society organisations:

  • Continue to maintain, support and build solidarity by using all of potentials and space held for mutually reinforcing, particularly in LGBTIQ groups which most oppressed.

 

Joint Statements by:

Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) Indonesia

(Muhammad Hafiz – hafizmuhammad85@gmail.com & Astrid Maharani – amaharanic@gmail.com)

National Federation for LGBTI Communities – Arus Pelangi

(Yuli Rustinawati – yuli@aruspelangi.or.id)