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IHCS » Press Release » “Resolve Agrarian Conflicts and Remove the Land Acquisition Act!”

“Resolve Agrarian Conflicts and Remove the Land Acquisition Act!”

“Resolve Agrarian Conflicts and Remove the Land Acquisition Act!”

In April, at least, there are two important moment for the agrarian reform struggle. First one is the International Day of Peasant Struggle on the 17th of April, and the second is Indonesian Peasant’ Rights Day on 20 April.
Historically, the 17th of April 1996 was a dark day for the peasants across world. When the tragedy took place in El Dorado dos Carajas, Brazil, in which nineteen landless peasants who defend their right to produce food by demanding access to land were killed by military police. Since the incident, on 17 April is commemorated as International Day of Peasant Struggle.
Meanwhile, for the Indonesian Peasant Rights Day came from consolidation of the entire organization of the peasant movement and agrarian reform activists in the National Conference on Agrarian Reform and Fulfilment for the Protection of Human Rights of Peasant in Cibubur-Jakarta in April 2001.

These National Conference resulted the Declaration of Peasant Rights that contains the protection of rights of peasants which include: (1) Equal rights of peasant women and men, (2) The right to life and adequate standard of living, (3) The right to land and territory, (4) the right to the seeds, knowledge and traditional agricultural practices, (5) the right to capital and agricultural production facilities, (6) Right to information and agricultural technology, (7) Freedom for pricing and markets for agricultural production, (8) the right to protection agriculture values, (9) Rights to biodiversity, (10) Rights to environmental preservation, (11) Freedom to associate, to assemble and to express opinions, (12) Right to obtain access to justice.
These momentums are still relevant to be commemorated because there is still an agrarian injustice in Indonesia, where the state has not taken a role in protecting and fulfilling the rights of peasants. Many cases of agrarian conflict due of the inequality on the agrarian structure control leads to violence, even a lot of casualties so far not been resolved by the government seriously.
The various cases because of agrarian conflict that was got public attention it seemed to just disappear. Previously, the National Human Rights Commission and several of government institutions declare its commitment to investigate a number of cases due to agrarian conflicts. Even, the government in particular had formed a special team to investigate. However, all the commitments of state institutions and government institutions is only a figment.

Ironically, the Indonesian government together with the house of representatives even active issued of legislations that legalized land grabbing of the people. Current, issued Law No. 2 year 2012 concerning Land Procurement for Development for Public Interest. Actually, this legislation is a follow-up of the National Summit that held on 29-31 October 2009, which is a meeting among bussiness groups with government, with main purpose to eliminate the various barriers in order to accelerate infrastructure development, industrial sector, and others.

Based on these conditions, in the context of legal reform, Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social justice (IHCS) will strengthen the struggle of the two spaces. First, the legal reform through legal-constitutional actions, such as the judicial review in the Indonesian Constitutional Court toward legislations that related with agrarian. The few legislations that would be judicial review in the near term are: Law No. 2 Year 2012 concerning Land Procurement for Development for Public Interest; Law No. 22 of 2001 concerning Oil and Gas, and Law No. 18 of 2004 concerning Plantation. Second, the legal reform through counterpoint drafting of legislations related to agrarian. This counterpoint concept becomes important after reflecting the IHCS advocacy works, particularly in the Constitutional Court. The experiences of judicial review toward Water Resources Law, Investment Law, and Law on Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands have provided important lessons about the need of strong basis discourses for agrarian justice struggle.
For this reason, in order to strengthen the work of legal reform, IHCS will launch the program “Indonesia Initiative for Agrarian Justice (INDOAGRARIA)” as a space for accommodating the initiative of the agrarian reform activists who were born from the dynamics advocacy of agrarian conflicts and agrarian reform struggle in Indonesia. In the near term, INDOAGRARIA is expected to enrich the perspective the document of Declaration of Peasant Rights which resulted from National Conference on Agrarian Reform and Peasant Rights in 2001 which became the basic concepts of IHCS in advocating initiatives on Bill of peasant rights protection in Indonesian House of Representative and advocacy peasant rights initiative as one of the UN human rights instrument.

Jakarta, April 18th 2012

Chairman of Executive Committee


Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice (IHCS)
Jl. Mampang Prapatan XV/ 8A Tegal Parang – Jakarta Selatan
Indonesia 12790
Phone: +6221 32592007
Fax: +6221 7949207

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