Thousands of cases of rights violations remain unresolved

Kompas – December 20, 2008
Komnas HAM chairperson Ifdal Kasim (publica)
Komnas HAM chairperson Ifdal Kasim (publica)

Jakarta – Some 2,000 public complaints lodged with the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) in 2008 have still not been settled. This year, the commission received around 7,000 complaints of rights violations. Around 75 percent were rights violations in the economic, social and cultural fields. The remainder was complaints about civil and political violations.

“Complaints related to economic, social and political rights were generally related to land disputes, evictions, hampering people’s right to seek a livelihood, healthcare, freedom to practice one’s faith and freedom of expression. The largest number of complaints this year was related to religious freedom and freedom of expression. The purification movements resulted in an increasing number of parties lodging complaints. Complaints also came from believers outside of the mainstream”, said Komnas HAM chairperson Ifdal Kasim during a break in a stakeholders meeting titled “The Role of Komnas HAM in Realising Advancement, Protection and the Upholding of Human Rights at the National and International Level”, on Friday December 12.

Kasim said Komnas HAM investigates the cases that are reported. After this, they make a recommendation to the party concerned or assist in mediation between the parties involved. “After there is a letter from Komnas Ham, local governments, and the related department, start taking direct action to overcome it. Out of 7,000 complaints, around 5,000 have been able to be resolved through this means”, he said.

Kasim added that the involvement of foundations or institutions who should implement the upholding of these rights, particularly the government, is extremely important. If Komnas HAM and implementing institutions do not perform, the public’s expectations will continue to decline and this will create difficulties for the country in the long term. Public trust will disappear. (INE).

[Translated by James Balowski.]