Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at Commemoration of 2021 International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2021, at the State Palace, Special Capital Region of Jakarta
Assalaamu’alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh,
May peace be upon us all,
Greetings of Virtue.
Distinguished Ministers of Indonesia Onward Cabinet,
Distinguished Heads of State Institutions,
Distinguished Chairperson of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and all leaders and ranks of Komnas HAM,
Distinguished human rights activists,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I understand why this year Komnas HAM adopts a theme that is different from the [themes of] previous years. The theme is “Human Rights, Tolerance, Resilience amid COVID-19 Pandemic”. This demonstrates the exact situation for now.
The concerns of Komnas HAM are also the concerns of the Government and the people. For the past two years, we have struggled to fulfill human rights. Indonesia is facing a health crisis and economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We all work hard so that the people feel safe from the threats of the pandemic. We also make efforts to protect the people from the threats of starvation and unemployment.
Although the threats of the pandemic still cast a shadow over the world, thank God, our struggle paid off. Indonesia is one of five countries in the world that have succeeded to curb the COVID-19 pandemic to the lowest level, to level 1. And thank God, we have also managed to maintain our national economic stability.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We must continue to make efforts to fulfill human rights, particularly social, economic, and cultural rights. We must immediately eliminate extreme poverty to zero percent and I have repeatedly raised this issue to the ministers. We must also provide job opportunities as wide as possible. We must ensure access to education and health care services that are affordable and equitable. And we must guarantee freedom of religion and freedom to preserve customs and culture.
To improve access to social, economic, and cultural justice for all Indonesian people wherever they are, the Government continues to work hard to develop from the periphery, to develop from villages, to develop from border regions so that their rights to development can be fulfilled; to achieve equal infrastructure development across the country; to open investment opportunities for downstreaming that creates many job employments. The goal of investment, downstreaming, and industrialization is to create as many employments as possible. And we are aware that this year, investment outside Java island is larger than that in Java island, and it gives social assistance to help underprivileged groups.
It is for this reason that the Government works hard to obtain investment both from home and abroad, to issue the Job Creation Law, to improve investment ecosystem, including by improving business licensing through online single submission (OSS), in order to provide as many high-quality employments as possible for all Indonesians.
In the middle of this year, the Government has issued Presidential Regulation Number 53 of 2021 on the 2021-2025 National Action Plan on Human Rights. This action plan aimed to respect, protect, fulfill, enforce, and promote human rights in Indonesia. And its main targets include women, children, indigenous groups, and persons with disabilities.
The Presidential Regulation Number 53 also underscores that human rights enforcement not only includes respect and protection of civil and political rights, but also the fulfillment of economic rights, social rights, and cultural [rights], especially [the rights of] vulnerable groups. Not only do we need to protect them, but we must fulfill their rights too.
Last week, in an unprecedented move, I inaugurated the National Disabilities Commission. This commission shows our commitment to ensuring and monitoring that the rights of persons with disabilities are respected, protected, and fulfilled. It is also an implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Once again, so that every citizen has the same rights without feeling neglected and discriminated.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The guarantee of civil, political, and legal rights must also remain our focus. Every citizen has equal rights and status in politics and law. Every citizen is entitled to equal protection from the state regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, or race. Every citizen is entitled to equal opportunities to receive services from the state, and is entitled to occupation and a decent livelihood.
The Government is committed to upholding human rights, to putting an end to and resolving gross human rights violations by prioritizing principles of justice for victims and to serving justice for those suspected of being perpetrators of gross human rights violations. Following the issuance of Law Number 26 of 2000 on Human Rights Court, the Government through the Attorney General has already taken measures to conduct general investigations on cases of gross human rights violations. One of them, as previously mentioned by Chairperson of Komnas HAM, is the Paniai case in Papua in 2014. Based on investigation dossier from Komnas HAM, the Attorney General’s Office still conducted general investigations to ensure that principles of justice and legal certainty are upheld.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The development of industrial revolution 4.0 also demands us to anticipate several human rights issues. I understand the public anxiety and concerns regarding criminal sanctions in the Electronic Information and Transaction (ITE) Law. The Chief of the Indonesian National Police (Polri) has followed up my order to put education and persuasive measures first in handling cases of ITE. Criminalization of freedom of expression must not exist. With the support of the House of Representatives, I have granted amnesty to Ibu Baiq Nuril and Bapak Saiful Mahdi who were convicted of violating the ITE Law. However, let me reiterate that freedom of expression must be carried out responsibly for the interests of the wider community.
Personal data protection has also become a serious concern for the Government and is an inseparable part of human rights. Therefore, I have ordered Minister of Communications and Informatics as well as related ministries and institutions to immediately complete the deliberation on the Personal Data Protection Bill with the House of Representatives so that the protection of the people’s human rights and business certainty in the digital sector can be ensured.
We must follow the development of science and technology to ensure that no one is unfairly disadvantaged in a world that is currently full of disruptions. We must always innovate to protect human rights of the Indonesian citizens, especially marginalized groups. We must build an advanced Indonesia and at the same time ensure social justice for all Indonesian people.
That concludes my speech on this auspicious occasion. Happy International Human Rights Day.
I thank you.
Wassalaamu’alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh.
Om santi santi santi om. (DH/MUR)