Rights group Kontras refuses invitation to discuss Omnibus Law at Palace

CNN Indonesia – March 4, 2020
Workers rally at State Palace in Central Jakarta against Omnibus Law – January 15, 2020 (Detik)

Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has refused an invitation from the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) for a meeting to discuss the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

Kontras Coordinator Yati Andriyani said that the rejection represented a criticism against the government’s attitude on the law which has given the impression that it has been intentionally closed and secretive in drafting it.

“We have conveyed our refusal to attend the activity”, said Andriyani in a press release on Tuesday March 3.

Andriyani said that Kontras received a letter of invitation from the KSP which was designated UND-32 /KSP/D.5/02/2020. According to the letter, the planned meeting agenda was to convey a written view on the substance of the draft law.

Andriyani explained that Kontras had a number of considerations in refusing the KSP’s invitation. Kontras said that they objected to the fact that the government had submitted the draft of the law along with an academic text to the House of Representatives (DPR) before providing an opportunity for public participation in the law’s drafting.

“In our view this activity [the meeting] could provide a justification for [continuing with] the deliberations and enactment of the draft law”, she said.

Yet prior to this civil society had experienced difficulties in accessing the draft law and the academic text of the law and were not involved in the drafting process.

In addition to this, Andriyani suspects that the KSP’s invitation was an attempt to justify the existence of the Draft Omnibus Law.

Kontras, according to Andriyani, had already sent a letter to all government ministries including the the Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs, the Ministry for Law and Human Rights and the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs before the draft was officially published. None of these ministries provided a copy of the draft law to them.

Meanwhile the substance of the draft law demonstrates the government’s ambition to attract investment by sacrificing human rights, the environment, labour rights, social welfare and justice for broader of society.

Kontras has urged the DPR and the government to halt the deliberations on the draft law based on the reasons which they have already outlined.

“The DPR still has a lot of homework which is more important than the Draft Job Creation Law and requires more attention”, she said.

Andriyani gave as an example a number of issues that are yet to be resolved such as revisions to the Law on a Human Rights Court, revisions to the Law on Human Rights, the enactment of the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence, resolving cases of past gross human rights cases as well as the violence and alleged human rights violations in Papua. (ugo/wis)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “KontraS Tolak Hadiri Rapat Omnibus Law Cipta Kerja di Istana”.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20200304070430-20-480303/kontras-tolak-hadiri-rapat-omnibus-law-cipta-kerja-di-istana