Effects of Evictions on Women and Girls
Women evictees face particularly adverse consequences from evictions, most notably interruptions to income-generating activities they run out of their homes. Several such cases are detailed below. Women also face heightened exposure to sexual and gender-based violence302 and, because they make up the majority of internal Indonesian migrants to Jakarta,303 are disproportionately exposed to abuses to which migrants are susceptible (see Effects of evictions on migrants, below).
As the principal targets of sexual and gender-based violence, women and girls are particularly exposed to such abuse by forced evictions.304 The chaos during an eviction, and the disruption of community structures and the change to less secure living circumstances in the aftermath of an eviction, may all increase the risk of such violence. During the eviction at Cengkareng Timur in West Jakarta, a public order official is reported to have raped a thirteen-year-old girl, according to the National Commission on Child Protection.305 Reports of sexual and gender-based violence may be underreported due to the stigma involved.
Many evicted women told Human Rights Watch they used their homes, or shops connected to their homes, as part of their income generating activities. Susi Setyowati showed us her new shop as she related the story of her life prior to the eviction of her community from Kapuk Muara in 2003: I had a food stall in my old house. My house had two levels. I used the second level to sleep, and the first level for a food stall. Following her eviction, Susi Setyowati was fortunate to receive assistance from a private charitable foundation that helped her move to a new apartment in the citys periphery. She has now opened another small food stall near her new home. However, she noted:
Sinta Suryana used to run a series of rental homes, another occupation common for Indonesian women.307 Local security forces demolished all of her rental houses during the clearance of the community in Pisangan Timur. She told us, I earned Rp. 2,500,000 [US$262] per month from all seven of my rental houses. That was my only business.308
Ani Fatah used to work as a tailor from her home. She told us about her eviction:
Sri Suharti told us about the destruction of her shop by the public order officials along with her house: It took maybe six months to rebuild my small shop. We had to do it little by little.310 These testimonies indicate that once an eviction disrupts an individuals domestic-based income activities, it may take many months to restart that kind of work.
Losing work may also effect a womans children and her extended family, because many Indonesian women are likely to remit part of their income to family members in other parts of the country, often contributing to a siblings education.311
The sheer noise, confusion, and scale of an eviction can be a terrifying experience for any child. The loss of possessions such as school books and uniforms during evictions, and the disruption to parents lives can have a serious effect on the ability of children to attend school. Adequate housing and secure living conditions are integral to childrens welfare, and are guaranteed by Indonesian and international law.314
Eddie Hariyanti was brought to tears when recounting the emotional impact of the eviction on his young daughter: [The thugs] went and destroyed everything, including my childrens books and my childrens things, and my daughter kept asking me, What are they doing? What are they doing? And I had to tell her just to be patient. And she saw the bulldozers coming in, destroying her house. She will definitely always remember that, and never forget.315
When Human Rights Watch visited Budi Santoso just four days after local security apparatus destroyed his home in Pisangan Timur, he was concerned that the eviction had caused his daughter to run away:
Reflecting on her experiences, Lastri Sukainar, who was twelve years old when government forces evicted her from her home in Teluk Gong, told Human Rights Watch: I was scared seeing the eviction.317 Three years after the eviction, Lastri is doing well, thanks largely to a private charitable foundation that helped her family find a new apartment and provided Lastri with affordable schooling.
Evictions frequently cause disruption in childrens abilities to access their right to education as guaranteed by Indonesian and international law.318 Many evicted children had their school books and school supplies destroyed or lost during the eviction process. Other children lost their school uniforms, which are mandatory for attending school. We met Pramana Prihatin who told us: I lost our childrens school books and uniforms.319 One father, Santoso Mulyani told us: Our children were supposed to go to school, but because [the public order officials] had destroyed our house we could not find the clothing and books, so they could not go to school.320 The three school-age children of Sri Suharti experienced a similar problem. As their mother describes: My childrens school things were gone. They couldnt go to school for three weeks.321
Schools in Indonesia charge a variety of fees for starting and attending classes. A number of parents complained that the disruption caused to their own livelihoods by the eviction meant that they could no longer continue to pay such fees for schooling. As Kersen Saptono explained, The consequence of the eviction is that the education of our children has been disrupted Our employment has been cut off, so now we dont have any money to send our children to school.322 When we interviewed Kersen his children had not been able to attend school for almost five months. In her 2002 examination of the Indonesian education system, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Katarina Tomaevski, concluded that poverty and costs are the key obstacles to Indonesian childrens access to education.323 A recent investigation by Human Rights Watch further concluded that direct and indirect school costs play a role in forcing Indonesian children to drop out of elementary and lower secondary school and is a contributing factor to children being pushed into the labor force, including the worst forms of child labor.324
When evictions force families to move to new locations, parents must choose between enrolling their children in a new school or keeping their children in their old schools. Transferring children to a new school can require paying registration fees that may be prohibitive, or at the very least entail a delay in the schooling until the family can raise sufficient funds. After government forces and gangs of thugs evicted Ani Fatah from her home in Cengkareng Timur, it took her ten months before she could find another permanent place to live and work:
Even taking the time to fulfill the new schools administrative requirements can lead to an interruption in childrens schooling. Chahaya Utari told Human Rights Watch about his experiences when moving his children to his old home village after the government destroyed the fishing village where he and his family were living: I have five children Before the eviction they were in elementary school, they went to a school nearby. They didnt go to school for two months after the eviction before starting school in my village .My children did not go directly to school because we had to take care of administration matters, letters of recommendation, and so on.326
When parents choose to keep children in their old schools for the time being, despite the family being moved, this may necessitate long and expensive travel for the children and the parents. Arti Sudewo, who has two daughters, explained: When we moved here, they didnt go to school for three months. Then my husband bought us a bicycle so I could take them to school. Then I would wait all day to bring them home. After [my daughters] finished their semester, I put them in a closer school. We got assistance from some of the families to pay for the school.327 When we met Budi Santoso, he was still sending his children to their old school: My children are still going to school here, but [where we are now staying] is quite far away, so now we have to pay to take them here which is expensive.328
Migrants who have moved to Jakarta from other areas of Indonesia are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of forced evictions. Some will be vulnerable as they will not have acquired the legal documentation required under Indonesian law to reside in the Jakarta district, while others who have obtained the necessary documentation may still lack extensive social support networks within their new communities to aid with the displacement.332 Rather than providing additional support to evicted migrants, the Jakarta government instead uses the fact that migrants are not originally from Jakarta and that some lack residency identification cards as an excuse to deny them compensation and assistance.333 For all affected by forced evictions the overriding criteria for compensation and assistance should be that the individual has in fact suffered harm or loss because the government evicted him or her from the house and land where he or she was living. Within any scheme of assistance or compensation, provision can be made to distinguish between categories of evictees on objective criteria such as ownership or length of residency. However arbitrary criteria, or criteria which cause undue hardship on certain categories of victims or lead to significant difference in the way in which victims are treated are incompatible with international standards.334 For example, while it might be appropriate to establish minimum residency requirements for certain forms of assistance, it should not be done exclusively by way of showing a Jakarta ID cards as some have great difficulties in obtaining ID cards, despite their long time residency in Jakarta. Instead residents should be allowed to establish residency through other forms of proof, and allowed to access compensation and assistance where they have suffered harm or loss through eviction.
Excluding rural-to-city migrants from compensation and assistance after an eviction on the basis that they do not possess Jakarta ID cards can be seen as part of a wider pattern of arbitrary treatment of migrants by the Jakarta government. For example, the Governor recently promulgated a regulation whereby Indonesian citizens who move to their capital city but fail to register with the citys population agency and obtain a visitors identity card within fourteen days of their arrivala process which requires proof of permanent employment and residenceare liable to imprisonment for up to three months or a Rp. 5,000,000 (US$550) fine.335
Jakarta is Indonesias capital, and as such, it should be accessible to every Indonesian citizen. Because the government does not provide shelter for poor and migrant communities, these communities rely on informal settlements when moving to the city in search of jobs and a better life for themselves and their families. Destroying those settlements without providing adequate compensation or adequate alternative shelter only makes it more difficult for them to integrate fully into the city. Urban growth is an inevitable part of economic development, and Jakartas government should not limit access to the enormous potential for human development that urban life can offer to many.
As a representative from an NGO that works with Jakartas poor explained to us: If people stay in their village, they cannot eat, they cannot live. Theres so much development happening in Jakarta, but not in their village, and that is why people come to Jakarta. And that is why they come and use the empty land.336 Yet, as a leading Indonesian NGO activist put it to us, You cant stop urbanization, you can only manage it.337 As well as being ineffective, Governor Sutiyosos attempts to restrict migration to Indonesias capital violates both Indonesias constitution and international law, which guarantee individuals freedom of movement and freedom to choose where to establish a residence.338
It is also important to stress that many of the residents that Human Rights Watch met in informal settlements were in fact Jakarta natives, or had moved to Jakarta decades before and had registered as Jakarta residents and held Jakarta identification cards. Even such long-term residents, however, can lose their status as a result of an eviction. One of the requirements for getting a new Jakarta identity card is to present an introductory letter from the local neighborhood official verifying where an individual is living. As Jullieta Indrivanti told us: I have an ID from my village, but my children have Jakarta IDs. I used to have a Jakarta ID, but it was burned in 2001 during one of the evictions. After that I needed another ID from my village. After I was evicted I wasnt recognized by the government here, which is why I had to get an ID from my village.339
In the days, weeks, and months following an eviction, many evictees have no choice but to live in sub-standard facilities. Some become homeless. The local government in Jakarta is failing to fulfill its obligations under international standards to ensure that evictions do not result in individuals becoming destitute or homeless.341 Human Rights Watch visited families who were living under blue tarpaulin beside the remains of their houses that had been destroyed a week earlier (see Photo 9 on page 97).342 Evicted residents frequently stated that they lacked the necessary financial resources to provide permanent forms of shelter for themselves in the immediate aftermath of an eviction, and that it can take between one and six months to save enough to rebuild a semi-permanent or permanent shelter. Some evictees are still living in temporary shelters years after their eviction.
Human Right Watch met with a number of evictees who were living on the sides of the streets adjacent to the lot in Jembatan Besi where they had been evicted two-and-a-half years earlier. Joenna Susandra was living in a very narrow, basic shelter made from blue tarpaulin and some light wood. When asked why her shack was so narrow, she explained that she had tried to build no wider than the covered sewers running below, believing that this meant she was on government land and would therefore be afforded more protections. But, as Joenna Susandra explained to us: Sometimes the public order officials will come and we have to take down this tent, and then recreate it when theyre gone. Its very sad really.343
Sri Suharti, a forty-three-year-old shopkeeper, shared her experiences in the aftermath of her eviction from her house under the railway flyover in Cikini:
Praman Prihanti, a forty-nine-year old salvager of second-hand materials from Pondok Kopi, had a similar experience: We slept in emergency tents for one month. Then we built just one room to sleep in. We rebuilt in the exact same place. We wonder why we were evicted in the first place. Theres been no development here since 2001.345
Photo 9: Evicted residents live under blue tarpaulin next to the burned remains of their home
(c) 2006 Bede Sheppard/Human Rights Watch
Evictees from Cakung Cilincing also resorted to temporary tents following their eviction. As Atin Rukiyah, a thirty-one-year-old unemployed woman, related to us: We started making shelter at about 8p.m. Not just me, the whole community made some tents out of some blue tarpaulin that we had.346
Some residents from the eviction at Cengkareng Timur in 2003, and from Siliwangi, Pasar Baru in 2005, took to living in the parking lot of the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas-HAM) in an attempt to bring greater attention to their plight.347 Sujatmi Wadud, a twenty-three-year-old homemaker, was one of these people following her eviction from Cengkareng Timur. I was at the National Commission for Human Rights. I went there to seek protection. I stayed there ten or eleven months, from September until July. It was not until late July that we found this [other] place and moved, she told Human Rights Watch.348
One NGO representative who worked with evicted residents from Jembatan Besi explained her frustration at the governments practice of evicting residents without providing meaningful alternatives or solutions, thereby forcing them to continue living in informal settlements. As she put it, the governments approach flatly contradicts its stated goal of ending informal settlements:
The fact that government forces have evicted some individuals again and again from locations all over Jakarta illustrates the sheer futility of conducting evictions without adequate consultation and compensation. A number of evicted residents told Human Rights Watch stories of being evicted from one location, moving to another place, and then being evicted again, or of returning to the very same piece of land that they were originally evicted from. These serial and cyclical displacements highlight the fact that often the government does not put the cleared land to productive forms of use, and it also shows that evictionsabsent coordination with other assistanceare not addressing the governments stated concerns with informal settlements.
One woman that Human Rights Watch met with claimed that the government had evicted her from four separate locations.351 Residents who remain at Teluk Gong explain that evictions for them have become almost routine. Jullieta Indriyanti told us that as far as she was concerned, the eviction that had occurred just days before we met her was nothing exceptional: Its already been thirty times, including this one. Thirty times over five years.352
Human Rights Watch was able to meet with two groups of former evictees living in exactly the same place from where the government had originally evicted them. Ibnu Darmawan, a fifty-year-old seller of second-hand goods told us how her family reacted after the public order officials arrived in force at her community: We just left voluntarily, there wasnt any violence. We just went to the other side of the road, waited there all afternoon until [the forces] left, and then we came back.353 A nearby neighbor, Soleh Atmaji, waited a little longer until his return: After the eviction I came back here five months later. I was renting a house for those five months. After five months I didnt have enough money and I came back here.354
Arti Sudewo explained that the government had evicted her from two different locations, although she was once again living in the same place as her last eviction:
301 Human Rights Watch interview with Kasan Percaya (not his real name), interviewed near his new home at the Tzu Chi complex, Cengkareng Timur,on January 26, 2006. Kasan Percayas home in Kampung Gusti was destroyed on July 12, 2003.
302 As the principal targets of sexual and gender-based violence, women and girls are particularly exposed to such abuse by forced evictions (see Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, General Comment 7, para. 10). The chaos during an eviction, and the disruption of community structures and the change to less secure living circumstances in the aftermath of an eviction, may all increase the risk of such violence. Reports of sexual and gender-based violence may be underreported due to the stigma involved. Although not a primary focus of our research, Human Rights Watch understands that according to the National Commission on Child Protection, during the eviction at Cengkareng Timur in West Jakarta, a public order official is reported to have raped a thirteen-year-old girl (see Mariani and Nurbianto, Governor disregards human rights summons; and Simanjuntak and Hakim, Eviction Injuries Take Their Toll.)
303 This is in part because Jakarta offers more employment opportunities for women because of increasing export-oriented manufacturing and service sector jobs. See Tommy Firman, Metropolitan expansion and the growth of female migration to Jakarta, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, vol. 40 (1999), pp. 45-58.
304 Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, General Comment 7, para. 10.
305 Mariani and Nurbianto, Governor disregards human rights summons; Simanjuntak and Hakim, Eviction Injuries Take Their Toll.
306 Human Rights Watch interview with Susi Setyowati (not her real name), a forty-nine-year-old who runs a small food stall, interviewed at work on January 26, 2006. Susi Setyowatis home in Kapuk Muara was destroyed on July 28, 2003.
307 Lilianny S. Arifin and Reidar Dale, Housing needs of migrant women industrial workers in Surabaya: insight from a life story approach, Habitat International 29 (2005), 215-226.
308 Human Rights Watch interview with Sinta Suryana (not her real name), Pisangan Timur, January 7, 2006.
309 Human Rights Watch interview with Ani Fatah (not her real name), West Jakarta, January 20, 2006.
310 Human Rights Watch interview with Sri Suharti (not her real name), Cikini, January 9, 2006.
311 Lilianny S. Arifin and Reidar Dale, Housing needs of migrant women industrial workers in Surabaya: insight from a life story approach, Habitat International 29 (2005), 215-226.
312 Human Rights Watch interview with Atin Rukiyah (not her real name), Cakung Cilincing, January 8, 2006.
313 Human Rights Watch interview with Dian Yusif (not his real name), interviewed while living in the courtyard of the National Commission on Human Rights, January 6, 2006. Dian Yusif was evicted from his home in Siliwangi, Pasar Baru, on December 21, 2005.
314 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, Art. 28B(2), reads: Every child shall have the right to live, grow and to develop, and shall have the right to protection from violence and discrimination. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Indonesia is a party, requires states to ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child (Art. 6(2)). Under the Convention, governments also recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the childs physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development, (Art. 27(1)) and should therefore take appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right and shall in case of need provide material assistance and support programs, particularly with regard to nutrition, clothing and housing (Art. 27(3)).
315 Human Rights Watch interview with Eddie Hariyanti (not his real name), courtyard of the National Commission on Human Rights, January 6, 2006.
316 Human Rights Watch interview with Budi Santoso (not his real name), Pisangan Timur, January 7, 2006.
317 Human Rights Watch interview with Lastri Sukainar (not her real name), a fifteen-year-old student, interviewed near her new home in the Tzu Chi complexon January 26, 2006. Lastri Sukainars home in Teluk Gong was destroyed in 2003.
318 Indonesias Constitution, Art. 31(1), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Art. 28, and the ICESCR, Art. 13, provide that every child has the right to education. The CRC, Art. 28(1)(b) and ICESCR, Art. 13(2)(1) provide that primary education must be compulsory and available free to all. Secondary education, must be available and accessible to every child, and countries must take appropriate measures, such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need, CRC Art. 29(1)(b). ICESCR Art. 13 also provides that secondary education and vocational education, shall be generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education. Countries are obligated to take measures to encourage regular attendance at school and the reduction of drop-out rates, CRC Art. 28(1)(e). In 2004, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the body which monitors state compliance with the CRC expressed its concern that in Indonesia education is not free, even at the primary level, and that higher education is not affordable for many families. The Committee recommended that Indonesia strengthen measures to achieve universal and free primary education [and] progressively ensure that girls and boys, from urban, rural, and least developed areas have equal access to educational opportunities, without any financial obstacles. Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Indonesia, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add/223, January 30, 2004, para. 61 (a-b) & 63 (a-b).
319 Human Rights Watch interview with Pramana Prihatin (not his real name), Pondok Kopi, January 12, 2006.
320 Human Rights Watch interview with Santoso Mulyani (not his real name), Ancol Timur, January 24, 2006.
321 Human Rights Watch interview with Sri Suharti (not her real name), Cikini, January 9, 2006.
322 Human Rights Watch interview with Kersen Saptono (not his real name), Cakung Cilincing, January 8, 2006.
323 U.N. Commission on Human Rights, The Right to Education, Report Submitted by Katarina Tomaevski, Special Rapporteur in accordance with Commission Resolution 2002/23, Addendum, Mission to Indonesia July 1-7, 2002, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2003/9/Add.1, November 4, 2002, para. 23.
324 Always on Call: Abuse and Exploitation of Child Domestic Workers in Indonesia, a Human Rights Watch Report, Vol. 17, No. 7(C), June 2005, pp. 43-46.
325 Human Rights Watch interview with Ani Fatah (not her real name), West Jakarta, January 20, 2006.
326 Human Rights Watch interview with Chahaya Utari (not his real name), Ancol Timur, January 24, 2006.
327 Human Rights Watch interview with Arti Sudewo (not her real name), Cikini, January 9, 2006.
328 Human Rights Watch interview with Budi Santoso (not his real name), Pisangan Timur, January 7, 2006.
329 Digusur, Warga Jembatan Besi Telantar, (Evicted, Residents of Jembatan Besi were Neglected), Kompas, August 28, 2003.
330 Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, NGO Activists condemn squatter evictions, Jakarta Post, August 29, 2003; Digusur, Warga Jembatan Besi Telantar, (Evicted, Residents of Jembatan Besi were Neglected), Kompas, August 28, 2003.
331 Governor Sutiyoso, quoted in Bambang Nurbianto and Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak, Violence marks forced eviction in Cengkareng, Jakarta Post, September 18, 2003.
332 World Bank, Indonesia: Review of Implementation of the World Bank Policy on Land Acquisition and Resettlement, December 2005, p. 4.
333 Human Rights Watch interview with H. Amidhan, Chairperson of Sub-commission on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, National Commission on Human Rights, January 13, 2006; see also Nurbianto and Simanjuntak, Violence marks forced eviction in Cengkareng.
334 Both the ICCPR and ICESCR provide in Article 2 that the rights in the respective covenants shall be enjoyed without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status (emphasis added).
335 Bylaw No. 4/2004 on population and civil registration; Damar Harsanto, Fewer migrants enter city after holiday, in Jakarta Post, Nov. 16, 2005.
336 Human Rights Watch interview with representatives of FAKTA, January 9, 2006.
337 Human Rights Watch interview with NGO representative, January 12, 2006.
338 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, Art. 28E(1) reads: Every person shall be free to choose ones place of residence within the state territory. ICCPR, Art. 12(1) reads: Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
339 Human Rights Watch interview with Jullieta Indriyanti (not her real name), Teluk Gong, January 14, 2006.
340 Human Rights Watch interview with Arti Sudewo (not her real name), Cikini, January 9, 2006.
341 According to the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Evictions should not result in individuals being rendered homeless or vulnerable to the violation of other human rights. Where those affected are unable to provide for themselves, the [government] must take all appropriate measures, to the maximum of its available resources, to ensure that adequate alternative housing, resettlement or access to productive land, as the case may be, is available. The Committee also stresses that evictions are not to take place in particularly bad weather or at night unless the affected persons consent otherwise. Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, General Comment 7, para. 15(f).
342 Human Rights Watch visit to Teluk Gong, January 14, 2006.
343 Human Rights Watch interview with Joenna Susandra (not her real name), a thirty-five-year-old clothes washer, interviewed in her new shelter, on January 22, 2006. Joenna Susandras home in Jembatan Besi was destroyed on August 26, 2003.
344 Human Rights Watch interview with Sri Suharti (not her real name), Cikini, January 9, 2006.
345 Human Rights Watch interview with Pramana Prihatin (not his real name), Pondok Kopi, January 12, 2006.
346 Human Rights Watch interview with Atin Rukiyah (not her real name), Cakung Cilincing, on January 8, 2006.
347 Human Rights Watch visit to the National Commission on Human Rights, January 6, 2006. The families living in the parking lots of the National Commission on Human Rights were evicted from the housing complex at Siliwangi, Pasar Baru, on December 22, 2005.
348 Human Rights Watch interview with Sujatmi Wadud (not her real name), West Jakarta, January 20, 2006.
349 Human Rights Watch interview with Yasmin Purba, former advocate at Berantas, who worked on Jembatan Besi eviction case, January 16, 2006.
350 Human Rights Watch interview with Ibnu Darmawan (not his real name), Cikini, January 9, 2006.
351 Human Rights Watch interview with Ani Fatah (not her real name), West Jakarta, January 20, 2006.
352 Human Rights Watch interview with Jullieta Indriyanti (not her real name), Teluk Gong, January 14, 2006.
353 Human Rights Watch interview with Ibnu Darmawan (not his real name), Cikini, January 9, 2006.
354 Human Rights Watch interview with Soleh Atmaji (not his real name), Cikini, January 9, 2006.
355 Human Rights Watch interview with Arti Sudewo (not her real name), Cikini, January 9, 2006.