Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Indonesian president pledges to accelerate long-delayed indigenous rights law

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has promised to make passing a long-delayed law on indigenous peoples rights a priority.

Jokowi reiterated his commitment to the Law on Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Peoples' Rights (PPHMHA) on June 25 at a meeting with the Indigenous Peoples' Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) in Jakarta. The draft law was shelved last year when the new government took office.

The president also acknowledged the importance of setting up a task force for indigenous peoples issues; agreed to the release, in principle, of indigenous citizens who have been "criminalized," or unfairly prosecuted by the law; and pledged to encourage economic development based on indigenous models as a counterweight to big business.

"Overall, the president welcomed AMAN's actions and ideas," AMAN Secretary General Abdon Nababan said at a press conference after the meeting. "There is a process of reconciliation between the indigenous peoples and the state.


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