Human Rights Performance of Local Government #5: Manggarai Timur District in the Underdeveloped Situation and Human Rights City Entitlement

ELSAM, Manggarai Timur- Established in 2007, Manggarai Timur (Matim) District was the youngest district awarded as Human Rights City by Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Reaching the Human Development Index (IPM) for 56.58/100 in 2015, in fact, the district was considered to meet the requirement as Human Rights City by National Government, in which the evaluation was based on five human rights indicators enacted in Ministry of Law and Human Rights Regulation (Permenkumham) No. 25 Year 2013. The brief description of Matim actually raised serious questions about which factors to determine a unit of local government can be decided as implementing its obligation in human rights. Meanwhile, the low IPM actually showed the low quality of education, health, job opportunity and gender equality.

During 9-15 February 2017, the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) conducted a study to confirm the Ministry of Law and Human Rights selection to Matim District in terms of human rights implementation. In the data collection process, there are 14 resource persons being interviewed starting from the head of region, local bureaucracy (OPD), Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) members, local NGOs and journalist. The data collection focused on the information mining related to the fulfilment of obligation on the issues of health, freedom of religion, education, child, disability, freedom of information and food resilience.

Lucius Modo, Chairman of DPRD Matim, conveyed that as one of efforts to fulfill right to health, “The building of hospital has been started since the first five years of Local Long Term Development Planning (RPJPD), and recently there are only Emergency Unit facility and hospital administration office available. We hope that it will finish in 2018.”

Matim deals with quite serious problems related to the fulfillment of right to health, as said by Sufaldi Ratna from Solidaritas Perjuangan Perempuan Advokasi Korban Kekerasan (SOPPAN) Manggarai Timur, a CSO which focuses on the issues of women and health. “Recently, there are 59 persons we identified as people with HIV/AIDS (ODHA) in Matim Districts and 21 of them died,” she said.

Furthermore, Ratna said that the high number of the patients died because they found it difficult to get access to anti-retro viral (ARV) medication. It is the only drug that can be available in the hospital while there is no hospital available in Matim district.

Other than health problem, Matim District also deals with the problems starting from the low productivity of agriculture, domestic abuse, to the low quality of human resources. The trend of domestic abuses in 2016-2017 in Matim District even showed a higher number. This was acknowledged by the Head of Department of Laws and Regulations of Matim Local Government, Ivone.

In terms of policy making, the instruments have not been adequately available, for example, there has no specific Regional Regulation (Perda) for the people with disabilities. The only issued regulation to support the fulfillment and protection of human rights is Head of District Regulation No. 1 Year 2016 on Quality Assurance and Food Resilience of Manggarai Timur Districts.

“We acknowledged that until now the promoted local regulations are only related with the regulations aiming at increasing regional income,” Siprianus from Bappeda Manggarai Timur said.

Until now, Matim District still makes an effort to conduct sector arrangement which aims at mapping the regions potentially managed as the regional income sources. Even though the relations between the civil society and local government are not quite close, the public control to the local policies can well function. As conveyed by Yoseph Tetu, the two-periods Head of District of Matim, currently the local government makes an effort to “open the being-cornered situation” to raise the people of Matim welfare. [ ]

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