• Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo took office in 2014 on a tide of high public hopes that he would address the human rights failures of his predecessor. Although the president made several value commitments, these weren’t backed with specific policy measures. Indonesia’s religious minorities face increasing harassment, intimidation, and violence by Islamist militants, and Indonesia officially tolerates local Islamic bylaws that violate rights of women, LGBT people, and religious minorities. Abuses in Papua continue.  Additionally, Widodo has embraced using the death penalty against convicted drug traffickers as a signature issue of his administration.

  • A police cadet directs traffic in Jakarta, Indonesia. She is one of 7,000 female police cadets recruited in April 2014.
    Indonesia said it will stop administering “virginity tests” to female aspiring civil servants as part of its admission process. The country’s Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo announced this change—which will affect women working in government offices—on the heels of Human Rights Watch research that documented this degrading practice in the admission process for another branch of the Indonesian government, the National Police force.