Eastern Indonesia gives input on rights on land and housing

The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) and its stakeholders shared experiences and lessons learned on the realization of rights on land and housing for people in disadvantaged areas in a working meeting held under a European Union Aid to Uprooted People (AUP) program on Wednesday.

In the meeting, representatives of several institutions from eastern Indonesia gave input on the implementation of land and housing-related rights of disadvantaged people that will be included in the National Mid-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) for 2015-2019.

“The RPJMN 2015-2019 is critical because Indonesia will soon get a demographic bonus of people of productive age,” Deputy National Planning Minister Lukita Dinarsyah Tuwo said in his remarks at the working meeting, made available on Thursday.

A string of social and ethnic-based conflicts hampering Indonesia during the period of 1998 and 2000 have forced around 1.3 million people from their homes in Aceh, Central Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Maluku and West Timor.

According to National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) data, the number of former East Timorese refugees currently reaches 24,524 households, 4,762 of which still live in refugee camps.

The former refugees, who are referred to as “new citizens”, have joined the ranks of the rural poor.

The meeting resulted in several conclusions related to policies on land, sanitation, clean water and the rights to live and to settle.

“This collective responsibility does not only deliver results but also shows contributions from eastern Indonesia in the development of the RPJMN 2015-2019,” said Kemal Taruc, UN-Habitat Program 2 manager for Indonesia.

The meeting’s results will be used to respond to preliminary findings of the United Nations special rapporteur on housing rights at the UN Human Rights General Assembly in Geneva in March.

UN special rapporteur on housing rights Raquel Rolnik conveyed her preliminary finding during an official visit to Indonesia in May and June that: “As a member of the International Convention on Economic, Social and Culture Rights Council, Indonesia has a responsibility to ensure the progressive realization of rights on adequate housing, without any discrimination.” (ebf)

SOURCE www.thejakartapost.com