RI set to submit rights report

The Jakarta Post, Theresia Sufa - The Indonesian government will deliver a report on the progress of human
rights protection in the country during a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month.

The universal period review report will outline the country's achievements in establishing laws designed to protect human rights, including religious, civil and political freedoms.

"We will take members from several local authorities to the meeting to allow them to share with the international community their experiences protecting human rights at the community level," head of civil rights and politics at the Foreign Ministry Diana EF Sutikno told a media briefing in Bogor, West Java, on Monday.

The officials invited are from Aceh, Papua, West Kalimantan and the Sragen regency in Central Java.

The Papua administration will explain the implementation of decentralization program, which gave power to local authorities to utilize their own resources for the betterment of their people.

Diana said officials from Aceh would share their experience in protecting the human rights through the passing of specific bylaws.

West Kalimantan, which borders Malaysia, will describe their success in coping with human trafficking between the two countries.

Indonesia is a founding member of the human rights council.

Beside discussing the global protection of human rights, the meeting will also try to propose solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Diana said that at the last council meeting other council members had expressed appreciation for progresses made by Indonesia in improving its human rights record.

She said that Indonesia would be open to cooperating on human rights issues, including with countries having poor human rights records.

Meanwhile, Bayu Setiawan, from the Defense Ministry Law Bureau, said that the level of understanding of human rights issues by students graduating from the military academy now matches the understanding of civilian university students.

Research by international humanitarian consultants and the FRR law office in 2000 showed that the level of understanding on human rights by students graduating form the military academy was higher than that of students graduating from the civilian University of Trisakti and Surakarta State University (UNS).

The Defense Ministry added a human rights subject to the curriculum of the military academy at the beginning of the reform era in 1999, Bayu said.

"We provide lectures on human rights for all military staff because it is important when making a decision," he said.

Director for Human Rights and Humanitarian affairs Wiwiek Setyawati Firman said that several countries had learned ways to improve human rights from Indonesia.

"Indonesia received support from 165 countries to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2007. When we applied for membership for the second term, the supports increased to 182 nations."