Promoting Sikka Disctrict to be Human Rights City

ELSAM, Sikka – District and city government is the unit of local government, which directly connects to community. Thus, local government should have authority and responsibility in human rights fulfillment. Further, Human Rights City program initiated by national government become important to the protection and enforcement of human rights at the local level.

With other 132 districts/cities of 24 provinces, Sikka district in Nusa Tenggara Timur was awarded a Human Rights City by Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham) in 2014. This surely is a prestigious achievement for Nusa Tenggara Timur province concerning that there are only 2 districts awarded, namely, Sikka, and Manggarai Timur districts.

According to Head of Regional Development and Planning Agency of Sikka district, Alvin Parerra,   government’s concern on the land grabbing and land cultivation permits (HGU) possibly makes Sikka district be awarded Human Rights City.

“Any approaches have been carried out by district government to resolve the problems so that the conflicts among communities can be prevented,” he explained when ELSAM visited to Sikka district on Sunday (8/5).

In its two-days visit, ELSAM jointly with Yayasan Indonesia untuk Kemanusiaan (IKA) and Perhimpunan Bantuan Hukum Nusa Tenggara (PBH Nusra) plans to conduct a baseline study related to obtain local elements which can encourage SIkka district to be a Human Rights City.

Alvin Parera also realized that government of Sikka district still has problems, especially related to the lack of government officials’ capacity in formulating Village Mid-Term Development Planning (RPJMDes) with human rights perspective

“Trainings to increase the knowledge on human rights to formulate RPJMDes are significant to conduct,” he said.

In another moment, the deputy head of Sikka district, Paolos Nong Susar, also stated similarly about the lack of government officials’ capacity. According to him, that can hamper the development of program at the level of SIkka district government.

 “In addition, there is no human rights guidance to be followed by those public officials,” he affirmed.

Meanwhile, the lecturer of Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Katolik Ledalero Romo Otto Gusti Madung said that NTT society is a religious community which still follows the word of the priests. He thinks that the cooperation with diocese and bible approach to introduce human rights principle will be helpful to enhance the capacity of society and government. []