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Review of the Combined State Party Report for Indonesia - 80th Session, September 2021

Indonesia ratified the CCEDAW in 1984.[1] Discriminatory by-laws and regulations (CEDAW Articles 1 and 2)  In its eighth periodic report, the Indonesian government stated, “The equality of all Indonesian citizens as well as their rights to non-…
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Muslim and Christian Preachers Face Prison Under Abusive Law

Indonesian National Police have separately arrested and detained two clergymen on blasphemy charges. On August 25 Muhammad Kece, a Christian preacher, was arrested at his friend’s house in Bali for alleged blasphemy against Islam. Among other…
(L-R) Muhammed Kece, Yahya Waoni
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In August 2005, I visited Carmel Budiardjo, then an 80-year-old human rights campaigner, in her London townhouse. We talked on the second floor, which was also the office for Tapol, the human rights organization that she helped set up in…
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Female Recruits Subjected to Abusive, Discriminatory Practice for Decades

Indonesian Army Chief Gen. Andika Perkasa told army commanders in July that the required medical check-up in the recruitment process for female officers should be similar to the male medical test, signaling the end of the so-called “virginity test…
Female national army officers and police officers escort hundreds of women who packed the area in front of the State Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 8, 2020, in commemoration of International Women's Day.
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Government Should Uphold Right of Muslim Girls, Women to Choose

A recent ruling by Indonesia’s Supreme Court canceled a government regulation issued in February that allowed millions of girls and women in thousands of state schools a basic freedom: to choose whether or not to wear a jilbab (Muslim apparel that…
A primary state school in Solok, West Sumatra, where girls and teachers are required to wear the jilbab --Muslim apparel that covers the head, neck, and chest.
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Climate action plans have to include measures to redress women disproportionately affected by deforestation and plantation expansion.

On a rainy day in April 2018, I rode a small speedboat along the Kapuas River in West Kalimantan province, Indonesia, headed for three tidal swamp villages, whose residents had protested against the expansion of oil palm plantations on their farmland and…
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Amend Discriminatory Regulation That Blocks New Houses of Worship

Hundreds of Muslims in Indonesia this week demanded that the local government in Sraten village, East Java, stop the Muhammadiyah congregation from building a mosque. The protest prompted the village head to order the construction halted until the…
Indonesia's religious minorities, including Christians, Ahmadis, Buddhists and native faith believers, celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day outside the State Palace in Jakarta
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Government financial support for fossil fuels, including through subsidies, presents a key obstacle to achieving emissions reductions urgently needed to address the climate crisis. Subsidies artificially reduce the costs of fossil fuel production and…
Pumpjacks at an oil well site near Epping, N.D., Oct. 1, 2018. © 2018 Jim Wilson/The New York Times/GDA via AP Images
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Government Fails to Protect Affected Communities, Environment

(Jakarta) – The harm a palm oil plantation in western Kalimantan, Indonesia, is causing to the surrounding communities and the environment demonstrates the government’s failure to enforce its own policies and laws, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
A child carries palm kernels collected from the ground across a creek at an oil palm plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia, November 2017.
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Privacy, Free Expression, Access to Information at Risk

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government should suspend and substantially revise a regulation on online content to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said in a May 17, 2021 letter to Indonesia’s minister of communication and…
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Ensure Counterinsurgency Operations Are Not Abusive

(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should drop politically motivated treason charges and unconditionally release an activist detained for peacefully advocating Papuan independence, Human Rights Watch said today. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should…
Supporters of West Papua shout slogans during a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 1, 2020. 
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Schoolgirls, Female Civil Servants Suffer Under Abusive Regulations

(Jakarta) – Dress codes for women and girls in Indonesia discriminate against students, civil servants, and visitors to government offices and should be revoked, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should fully enforce a…
Des écolières suivent un cours dans une école publique à Padang, dans l'ouest de l’île  de Sumatra, en Indonésie, en janvier 2021.
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‘Magnificent 7’ Urge Schools to Follow New Ruling Making Jilbab Voluntary

This week I moderated a discussion with seven courageous Indonesian women – a teacher, a lawyer, an ombudswoman, two psychologists, and two activists. They were holding a news conference to support a new government decree that allows schoolgirls and…
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Decree Seeks End to Discriminatory Treatment of Girls, Women in Schools

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government should actively enforce a new decree that bans abusive, discriminatory dress codes for female students and teachers in Indonesia’s state schools, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 3, 2021, Education…
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Troubling Trend of Anti-LGBT Actions

Authorities in Indonesia’s Aceh province publicly flogged two gay men 77 times each on Thursday after a vigilante mob raided their apartment in November, allegedly caught them having sex, and handed them over to the police. The whipping—recognized as…
A Shariah law official uses a rattan cane to whip one of two men convicted of gay sex in Banda Aceh, Aceh province, Indonesia, January 28, 2021. 
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Greater Efforts Spent on Law Undermining Labor, Environmental Rights

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government responded slowly and insufficiently to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, focusing instead on a jobs law that will harm labor rights and the environment, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. The…
Students and laborers protest against a new job creation law that hinders labor rights, Bandung, Indonesia, October 8, 2020.
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Last September, I drove for four hours from Jakarta to a small town in western Java, staying one night in a Javanese-styled hotel at the foot of Mt. Ciremai, a 3,000-meter volcano on Java. When I got to Cisantana, I journeyed down a…
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Arrest Assailants, Protect Religious Minorities

On November 27, Islamist militants attacked the Christian-majority village of Lembantongoa in Sulawesi, Indonesia, killing the village elder and three other Christian farmers. The attackers burned a Salvation Army church and six houses, prompting…
Villagers and police officers clean up debris at the site of suspected militant attack in Lembantongoa village in Sulawesi, Indonesia, November 30, 2020. 
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In July 1997, when the Asian economic crisis began to hit Indonesia, as a journalist, I also began to travel to many parts of Indonesia, the world’s fourth most-populated country, covering the disappearance of staple foods from markets and suppression…
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