Since its establishment on August 15, 1993, the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) has developed a strategy to combine think tank organizational work methods and human rights advocacy (HAM), in its operations. It is this character that makes ELSAM unique compared to similar human rights organizations in Indonesia, with two main focuses: studies using a rights-based approach, and conducting policy advocacy. ELSAM strives to continue to encourage the presence of evidence-based policies to strengthen the respect, fulfillment and protection of human rights in Indonesia.
The establishment of ELSAM is intended to achieve the vision: The creation of an Indonesian society and state that is democratic, just and respects human rights. Meanwhile, its mission is to become a non-governmental organization that fights for human rights, both civil-political rights and economic, social and cultural rights in an inseparable way. ELSAM aims to create a social order that adheres to the values of human rights, justice and democracy, both in the formulation of laws and in their implementation.
Currently ELSAM has at least four main activities: (1) study and production of human rights knowledge to support policy advocacy; (2) mainstreaming human rights in policy making; (3) legal advocacy to encourage policy changes, including through strategic litigation; and (4) organizing various human rights education, with various topics and various target audiences.
The various main activities above are mainly applied in a number of ELSAM's strategic topic areas, which focus on issues of: (1) Human Rights and Technology, especially responding to the speed of digital technological innovations that have broad impacts on Human Rights; (2) Human Rights and Business, bearing in mind the increasing role of corporations in influencing relations between rights holders and duty holders; (3) Human Rights and the Environment, it is important to emphasize environmental sustainability as part of human rights; (4) Basic Freedoms, especially freedom of expression, freedom of religion