Wensislaus Fatubun / the Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Indonesia - West Papua
AGENDA ITEM # 3: Promotion Dialog between Government and Minority group to effective promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Thank you Mr. (Madame) Chairman (Chair)
My name is Wensislaus Fatubun. I am speaking on behalf of the Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Franciscans International and the West Papuan Minority1 we work for.
It is the responsibility of States to protect the existence of national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and shall encourage conditions for the promotion of those identities2.
While agreeing to the principle of the Draft Recommendation of this Forum, we would like to propose an addition that the recommendation should extend to dialog between government and minority groups in the implementation of laws and policies. The current laws and policies in place promote discriminative cultural norms that marginalize minorities and ultimately impede their effective participation in political, education, economic and social life.
In light of this principle, we note that the Indonesian Government Law No.21 of 2001 on Special Autonomy for West Papua provides legal and political protection for the West Papuan minority in Indonesia, especially their fundamental rights and freedoms, welfare and the rights to rectify their own history.
The Law stipulates the obligation of the Government of Indonesia to guarantee the rights of the West Papuan minority including the rights to culture, education, health and economic development. Research we conducted in 20123 confirmed that the right to life of the West Papuans have been violated by the Indonesian state apparatus. In its concluding observation, the UN Human Rights Committee in 2013 expressed its concern over the State’s use of its security apparatus to punish political dissidents and human rights defenders4. Cases of extra judicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrests and detention between October 2011 and March 2013 showed an increase in violence. Perpetrators who are members of police and military institutions, are not held accountable. In the remote highland areas such forms of violence are most frequently documented, where the security forces continue to conduct raids with violence and intimidate minority Papuan village communities, resulting in the displacement of people. The Third Papuan People’s Congress in October 2011 was violently dispersed, several participants were shot and killed. A number of peaceful political activists were imprisoned. In 2012, there was an escalation of violence during which civilians were shot by unknown persons. We expressed our deep concern on the killing of minority right activist Mr. Mako Tabuni by the security forces in the same year. Other minority activists were arrested. The rights of the minority Papuans to freedom of expression and assembly were denied.
With regard to the economic, social and cultural rights of the Papuans, we observe the poor management of human resources in the health care and education sectors. Despite the construction of new facilities and the availability of funds for salaries, most health care centers and schools are unattended by health workers and teachers respectively. As a consequence, the access to education and health care are often not available, notably in remote areas. Child mortality rates and HIV/AIDS infection data are at an alarming level and rank the highest compared to other Indonesian regions. Therefore, it demands serious reforms of the health sector. In its Concluding Observation for Indonesia in 2014, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressed its concern on the unavailability and poor quality of public services, including in education and health5 in West Papua.
Indigenous Papuan are not only the minority at the national level but also on their own Island. The latest Indonesian statistics predict that at the current rate, by 2020 the island will be demographically composed of 71.01% non-Papuans and only 28.99% Papuans.6 From the culture right’s perspective, the development of Papuan cultural identity has been identified as the empowerment of Papuan Political identity and stigmatized as part of separatist symbol.
We therefore urge this Forum to adopt Draft Recommendation no. 13, as herein modified:
Gross and persistent inequalities may create the conditions under which minority communities are made vulnerable to violence. It is necessary to understand and address the dynamics and the impact of discrimination, exclusion and inequalities, including intersecting forms of discrimination, in order to reduce the exposure of poor and marginalized minorities to violence. States should encourage effective participation and promote dialog, equality and the constructive integration of persons belonging to minorities in the political, socioeconomic and cultural life of society. Special measures should be taken for the benefit of the most economically disadvantaged communities
We also urge this Forum to call on the Government of Indonesia to initiate dialogue with representatives of the West Papuan minority as promoted by the Papua Peace Network (Jaringan Damai Papua).
I thank you Mr. (Madame) Chairman (Chair)
1West Papua refers to the provinces of Papua and West Papua in Indonesia
2 Article 1.1 of the UN Declaration on Minorities
3Human Rights in West Papua 2013, International Coalition for Papua (ICP), page. 50
4See CCPR/C/IDN/CO/1, para 16.
5See E/C.12/IDN/CO/1, para 12