Press Release
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Indonesia has not been progressive in the fulfillment of the Economic Social and Cultural Rights

The Commission for Disappeared and Victims of Violence [KontraS], the Indonesian Environmental Group [Walhi], and Forum Buruh Lintas Pabrik (Cross-Factory Labor Forum) call for the Government of Indonesia, in which until now, has not been progressive in the fulfillment of economic, social and cultural rights for citizens as a whole. Considering the importance of the review agenda of Indonesian Government in implementing the economic, social and cultural rights, on April 28 2014 by ESC Committee, composed of 18 independent experts, we ask the Indonesian government to provide a fair report and as comprehensive as possible. The results of the review is very important for the progress of implementation of the Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ESC) in Indonesia, due to it will produce  several point of recommendations that can be used by the Indonesian government as a benchmark for improvement its policies and  the next implementation of ESC rights.

In the shadow report and fact finding report of KontraS together with FIDH (International Federation on Human Rights), which has been sent to the ESC Committee in December 2013 and April 2014 with the primary source of field investigations, as well as with the information that we obtain from the national human rights groups, namely Walhi, Huma, JATAM, Kiara, Aman, KPA, and Sawit Watc, and the labor sector, we notice that the Indonesian government has not been progressively fulfill ESC rights for its citizens. Subsequently we would like to stress the problems we obtain:

Firstly, government policies have mostly benefited owners of capital rather than the people as a whole, it can be seen from the government program, in the form of MP3EI (Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development), which has been losing the essence of inclusive development, to nullify public participation in decision-making and equitable distribution of development benefits, especially for people who are directly affected by the development, such as local communities, and indigenous peoples. Ambitious development undertaken by governments further marginalized the low-income communities, and indigenous peoples, with long-term adverse impacts on the environment are difficult to repair. It violates to Article 2 of the Covenant which required states parties to realize the rights contained in the Covenant ESC progressively across individuals.

Secondly, with the increasing problems of forcible land acquisition by government companies and private companies, in line with the increasing threat that targets community and the chairman of the companion society movements that defend the rights of communities. With the persistence of the security-approach, human rights defenders on the ground are often getting intimidation, assault, and various other forms of threats from security forces that resulting arrest and arbitrary detention, unfair trials and sentenced to prison as experienced by some national human right defenders, for instance Mr. Anwar Sadat, Mr. Dede Chaniago, and Mrs. Eva Bande. This is obviously contradicts to Article 66 of Law No. 32 of 2009 that everyone who fighting for the right to a good environment and healthy living cannot be prosecuted, criminally and sued civilly.

Thirdly, repressive actions by the security continues occur to the workers when they’re exercising their right to strike, even though their rights have been protected under national and international law. In principle, in accordance with Article 137 of Law No. 13/2003 and Article 8 of the CESCR, workers have the right to strike. But in reality, the government has not fully protected the rights of workers to strike. Furthermore, the security forces in the field were frequently acted in repressive way, while facing the peaceful demonstration of the workers. For example, some strikes held in Bekasi and Karawang Regency of West Java province of Indonesia in 2013, were pressured, intimidated and attacked by the criminal organizations, ironically the attack occurred in front of the security forces, without any effort to stop the attack.

Fourthly, tighter restrictions for CSOs through Law No. 17 of 2013 concerning Community Organization (Organisasi Kemasyarakatan), replacing Law 8 of 1985 on Community Organizations. Ministry of Internal Affairs who have highest authority to control and monitor community organizations, through Law No 17 of 2013 issues certain obligations and restrictions against civil society organizations, including the ideology that is against the ideology of Pancasila and engage in activities that disrupt public order that could lead to the dissolution of the CSO as a sanction. Controls were discriminatory and excessive bureaucracy over the CSO could silencing civil society to advocate human rights violations that occurred.

Fifthly, the government has not been able to protect the rights of minority groups. For instance in the neglect of the minority Shia Sampang were forcibly displaced within a long enough period with limitations of rights in various sectors, including the right to education, decent home, the right to food, and other rights for internally displaced persons (in accordance with Article 11 and 13 of the Covenant.

Eight years after Indonesia ratified the International Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, we have not seen the Indonesian government has the desire for making people equally more prosperous without discrimination of race, religion, certain minority groups, as well as other status differences in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 2 of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The government has not been able to provide and fulfill ESC rights in an effective and progressive way for its citizens, therefore we strongly demand the Indonesian government:

  1. To provide a comprehensive state report on the implementation of the ESC to the committee of ESC on April 28, 2014, without any manipulation and reducing original facts
  2. To seriously respect and comply with the International human right law, national law and the Constitution of Republic of Indonesia [UUD 1945]
  3. To respect and comply with 1998 UN Declaration on the protection of human rights defenders;
  4. To implement inclusive development by involving local communities and indigenous peoples in all decision-making that directly and indirectly impact the society. As well as immediately stop and prevent all forms of violence to deal with social conflicts, including conflicts related to land;
  5.  To ensure its policy to be more respectful to the freedom of assembly and the right of labor to join and establish trade unions


For further information see the Joint Shadow report of  KontraS and FIDH at:


Jakarta, 30 April 2014
KontraS, Walhi, Cross-Factory Labor Forum