Human Rights Performance of Local Government #1: Gorontalo District as Human Rights City

ELSAM, Gorontalo – The Human Rights City award given to Gorontalo District and 131 other districts/city in Indonesia by Ministry of Law and Human Rights shall surely be appreciated. In certain context, the program can actually trigger a region to work more serious in human rights enforcement in their regions, as well as be an indicator to show human rights awareness starting growing in Indonesia. In other contexts, the substances of promotion and enforcement of human rights should become a serious concern and are not simple translated as statistical components. The evaluation component, thus, will greatly influence the selected district/city and show the quality of government knowledge in defining human rights in their bureaucracy works.

The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) chose Gorontalo District of six selected districts and cities awarded by Ministry of Law and Human Rights as location for the research entitled “Evaluating Human Rights Performance of Local Government.”  The field research was conducted on 15-24 January 2017 involving 16 informants from the task unit of local government, head of region, members of Regional Legislative Council (DPRD), academician, journalist, and CSO activists. Other than conducting interview and document study, the data was obtained through focused group discussion inviting government, journalist, and civil society. During the research, a number of human rights aspects (i.e. freedom of religion, food, health, occupation, education, and rights of the vulnerable) was measured through considering three indicators, namely, structure, process and result. The three indicators were evaluated in the context of respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights being the obligation traditionally understood to be borne by government.

Positioning the Human Development Index (IPM) at 62.90, the poverty rate in Gorontalo District  is still considered high in Gorontalo province, reaching 21% of total population, much higher than the national poverty rate for 10% (BPS, March 2016). Even so, Gorontalo District government currently makes an effort to run the programs targeting at eradicating poverty and empowering society. The programs are specified in a number of priority issues in the district.

The poverty in Gorontalo district is relatively high so that we focus the working program on 7 issues aiming at creating civilized society in Gorontalo district,” Nelson Pomalingo, head of Gorontalo district 2016-20121, said when interviewed in his office.

Those seven prioritized issues were framed into a NAFAS CITA program which includes the issues of poverty, unemployment eradication, education, health, basic service, environment and social disease (i.e. alcohol, drugs and homeless).  Local government also stated that its units currently focus on formulating programs targeting at people with disability, senior citizen, ex-convicted. One of the program, among the others, was specified in the big document of Manpower and Transmigration Office of Gorontalo district in the form of a roadmap on regional manpower. The government also designed a document of Strategy to Eradicate Regional Poverty (SPKD) which becomes the guidance in eradicating poverty in the region. [ ]

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