ELSAM, Sukadana –Since 2007, Kayong Utara (KKU) was established as new territorial split parting from its main district, Ketapang. Though it could only operate the fully complete local government service in 2009, the district was able to obtain the entitlement of Human Rights City from Ministry of Law and Human Rights, three years in a row in 2014, 2015 and 2016. However, based on the data issued by Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the youngest region in West Kalimantan still has lower Human Development Index (IPM) compared to 13 other districts/cities in West Kalimantan. This becomes interesting to see the local government performance in the fulfillment and protection of human rights at the local level, with the authority based on constitution and available resources.
The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) has conducted data collection in Kayong Utara District, as one of 6 regions selected to be the locations for the research entitled “Evaluating Human Rights Performance of Local Government”. The data collection process was carried out on 9-17 February 2017, by inviting a number of key resource persons representing the right holders and stakeholders. The invitees were Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) Members, several head of social affairs’ office (dinsos) and head of department of district government, academician from Universitas Tanjungpura, journalists, and CSOs. In addition to the interview and document analysis, the data sampling method was carried out through a focused group discussion.
The index position of IPM reaching to 60,09 in 2015/2016 is considered as low category. However, Agus Hartanto as the Head of BPS said that it was normal considering that KKU was newly established as a district. Due to increase the IPM and eradicate the poverty, government of KKU specified a number of programs to be focused on enhancing the quality of human resources in KKU.
“We realized that Kayong is still included as a poor and underdeveloped region in order to overcome it, we focus on the program to increase the quality of human resources of Kayong Utara. We free charged the education and health costs,” Hildi Hamid, the two-periods Head of District of Kayong Utara, said when we met him in his office in Sukadana on Monday, 13 February 2017.
Another challenge in the implementation is that in the fulfillment of human rights at the local level, there are a number of obstacles at the regulation structure level in the context of authority. Law No 23 Year 2014 on Local Government is considered as eliminating a number of authority of local government to provide public service, including to fulfill human rights. For example, in terms of senior high school which has been the authority of provincial government, it has changed the program plot of KKU local government, especially related to free education until senior high. Moreover, the control process of local government to the palm oil plantations to protect the labors also becomes the provincial authority.
Other than that, the government resource seems to lack of both quantity and capacity. The Head of District said that the development of improved system and public officials’ capacity is currently on process. One of mechanisms to do so is through conducting an open bid for the recruitment of public officials which is firstly held in Kalimantan. It is also important for Kayong Utara to ensure the sustainability and development of human rights protection program in the future. The process is expected to be able to support and bring the district out of proverty and underdevelopment. [ ]