Developing Human Rights Principles in Sikka District

ELSAM, Maumere – The settlement of past human rights violations at the national and local levels seems to meet with great walls. Any efforts to settle past human rights violations have been carried out by any parties, however, there is still no way to find out the way out.

One of the biggest obstacles of the settlement of past human rights violations in Sikka district is that the different perception between the local government and civil society which directly interacts with the victims.

“Government always argues that discrimination to the victims of gross human rights violations zero occurs, but instead the reality says in reverse,” Antonius Yohanes Balla said in the focused group discussion held by ELSAM in Sikka district on 29-30 August 2016.

According to the man usually called by Jon Balla, the efforts to use the political space disclosure has been carried out. However, the stigmatization to the victims is still a problem. “After reform era, victims quite gets opportunities in the political space. However, they are still afraid. The repression they have suffered might not be open, but the stigmatization to them keeps going,” Jon Balla, who is also a public figure in Maumere, said.

Another invitees in the discussion are the member of National Rights of Ministry of Law and Human Rights Dyah Windajani and ELSAM’s researcher Wahyudi Djafar, all being the resource persons. The discussion attended by religious figures, civil society and government officials of Sikka district mainly takes up any problem arising in Sikka district such as human rights violations in 1965-1966 as well as vulnerable groups, like women, indigenous people, senior citizen, people with disability and the others.

In relation with handling the problems of vulnerable groups in Sikka district, one participant from religious community, Pater Eman Embu, said that data collection of vulnerable groups becomes very important. The data will then be used to access the public service provided by Sikka district government.

“People with disabilities, for example, have quota to access the health service. However, when we checked to the health affairs’ office, the available quota is still numerous,” he said.

The focused group discussion itself belongs to the part of the efforts to develop Sikka district as Human Rights City. Beforewards, Sikka district, together with other 132 districts/cities of 24 provinces, was awarded Human Rights City by Ministry of Law and Human Rights in 2014.

Focused group discussion held on 29-30 August 2016 was then continued by strategic planning meeting to develop Human Rights City on 1 September 2016 in Maumere. The meeting resulted in the agreement that one first step to actualize Human Rights City is the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between local government of Sikka district, and Komnas HAM and Ministry of Law and Human Rights. This aims at growing commitment among the institutions to achieve Human Rights City.

Another is the integration of human rights principles to the bureaucracy works in SIkka district which is also important. Thus, the working program of government which has human rights perspective should be reflected in the Regional Mid-Term Development Planning of SIkka district.