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Indonesia [1] [print]

Last edited: December 2005

 

Summary and Analysis

 

Indonesia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) through its Presidential Decree 36 of the year 1990 (Keppres 36/1990), effectively giving the Convention domestic legal authority equivalent to a Presidential Decree.[2]  In Indonesia's legal hierarchy Presidential Decrees are superior to Regional Regulations and inferior to the Constitution, the People's Consultative Assembly Resolution, Laws, Government Regulations Substituting a Law, and Government Regulations.  Following the ratification of the CRC, Indonesia passed several laws related to the Convention's provisions, most notably the 1997 Law on Juvenile Courts and the 2002 Law on Child Protection.

 

The Law on Child Protection replaced the 1979 Child Welfare Law and governs adoption, guardianship, and economic and sexual exploitation as well as child protection.  Indonesia's child protection system is a formal one, in which Child Protection Agencies and the Department of Social Welfare are responsible for protecting children, often utilizing the help of NGOs in carrying out their duties.  Proceedings take place in the courts and are governed by procedural rules given by the Law on Child Protection.

 

Legislation in Indonesia mandates that any child in a protective proceeding has the right to state her views in accordance with her age and level of intelligence.  Though legislation does not explicitly state that children are consulted directly by the judge in proceedings, the sections providing for the child's right to convey her opinion make no mention of a representative or, using the words of the CRC's Article 12, appropriate body.[3]  Furthermore, the Explanation of the Law on Child Protection explains that the child has the right “to participate and state his/her opinion in the decision making process,”[4] language implying direct participation.

 

The Law on Child Protection also provides instructions for appointing a guardian (similar to a guardian ad litem) to represent children when their interests conflict with those of their parents.[5]  However, the Law on Child Protection only mandates the appointment of a guardian to “represent the child to carry out legal acts, both inside and outside court.”[6]  The only “legal acts” specified are economic matters, so it is unlikely that guardians are appointed in protection proceedings.  In any case, the law does not specify that the guardian must convey the wishes of the child.

 

Numerous difficulties impede Indonesia's implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the practical difficulties of coordinating policy in over 6,000 islands and the lack of resources in an economy still recovering from the Asian economic collapse in 1997.  The country has experienced numerous armed conflicts in separatist provinces, and the 2004 tsunami left 240,000 people dead or missing in the Northern Sumatra and Aceh provinces.[7]  Furthermore, Indonesia reported to the Committee on the Rights of the Child that traditional attitudes persist in which child abuse is seen as a family matter for which intervention is unnecessary.[8]  The U.S. State Department reported that child labor and sexual exploitation were severe problems and that “some provincial governments did not enforce [the] provisions” of the Law on Child Protection.[9]  Moreover, in several armed conflicts children were used as human shields or child soldiers.[10]  However, a newly established police child welfare hotline did increase reporting of child abuse.[11]

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

 

Original Text

 

Laws

 

Undang-Undang Tentang Perlindungan Anak[12]

 

Pasal 2

Penyelenggaraan perlindungan anak berasaskan Pancasila dan berlandaskan Undang-Undang Dasar 1945 serta prinsip-prinsip dasar Konvensi Hak-Hak Anak meliputi:

a. nondiskriminasi;

b. kepentingan yang terbaik bagi anak;

c. hak untuk hidup, kelangsungan hidup, dan perkembangan; dan

d. penghargaan terhadap pendapat anak.

 

Pasal 24

Negara dan pemerintah menjamin anak untuk mempergunakan haknya dalam menyampaikan pendapat sesuai dengan usia dan tingkat kecerdasan anak.

 

International Law

 

Konvensi Hak-hak Anak[13]

 

Pasal 12

1.  Negara-negara Peserta akan menjamin anak-anak, yang mampu membentuk pandangannya sendiri, bahwa mereka mempunyai hak untuk menyatakan pandanganpandangannya secara bebas dalam semua hal yang menyangkut anak, dan bahwa pandangan anak diberi bobot sesuai dengan usia dan kematangan anak.

2.  Untuk tujuan ini, secara khusus anak akan diberi kesempatan untuk didengar dalam setiap proses peradilan dan administratif yang menyangkut anak, baik secara langsung atau melalui seorang wakil atau badan yang tepat, dengan cara yang sesuai dengan prosedur hukum nasional.

 

Explanations of Laws

 

Penjelasan atas Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 23 Tahun 2002 Tentang Perlindungan Anak[14]

 

Umum

. . . Hak asasi anak merupakan bagian dari hak asasi manusia yang termuat dalam Undang-Undang Dasar 1945 dan Konvensi Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa tentang Hak-Hak Anak . . . Bertitik tolak dari konsepsi perlindungan anak yang utuh, menyeluruh, dan komprehensif, undang-undang ini meletakkan kewajiban memberikan perlindungan kepada anak berdasarkan asas-asas sebagai berikut:

a. nondiskriminasi;

b. kepentingan yang terbaik bagi anak;

c. hak untuk hidup, kelangsungan hidup, dan perkembangan; dan

d. penghargaan terhadap pendapat anak . . .

 

Pasal 2

. . . Yang dimaksud dengan asas penghargaan terhadap pendapat anak adalah penghormatan atas hak-hak anak untuk berpartisipasi dan menyatakan pendapatnya dalam pengambilan keputusan terutama jika menyangkut hal-hal yang mempengaruhi kehidupannya.

 

Translation[15]

 

Law

 

Law 23 of the year 2002 on Child Protection[16]

 

Article 2

The implementation of protection for children is based on the principles of [the Indonesian government philosophy of] Pancasila and on the Constitution of 1945 as well as the basic principles of the Convention on the Rights of Children, which cover:

a.       non-discrimination;

b.      prioritizing what is best for the child;

c.       the right to life, to perpetuation of life, and to development; and

d.      respect for the opinion of the child.

 

Article 24

The state and government guarantee that the child can use his/her right to convey his/her opinion in accordance with the child's age and level of intelligence/education.

 

International Law

 

Convention on the Rights of the Child, [17] ratified Sept. 5, 1990

 

Article 12

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

 

Explanations of Laws[18]

 

The Explanation of Law 23 of the year 2002 on Child Protection[19]

 

General

. . . The rights of children are among the human rights indicated in the 1945 Constitution and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children . . . Based on a conception of child protection that is complete, thorough, and comprehensive, these laws place the responsibility for providing protection to children based on the following principles:

a.       non-discrimination;

b.      prioritizing what is best for the child;

c.       the right to life, to perpetuation of life, and to development; and

d.      respect for the opinion of the child . . .

 

Article 2

. . . What is meant by the principle of respect for the opinion of the child is respect for the child's rights to participate and state his/her opinion in the decision making process, especially when related to matters that will affect the child's life. 

 

Additional Resources and Links

 

Komisi Perlindungan Anak Indonesia— Child Protection Committee (In Indonesian): http://www.kpai.go.id/

 

Pusat Kajian dan Perlindungan Anak (PKPA)— Center for Study and Child Protection (In Indonesian and English): http://www.pkpa-medan.org/english/index.php

 



Endnotes

[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[2] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Second periodic reports of States parties due in 1997: Indonesia, ¶26, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/65/Add.23 (Jul. 7, 2003), available http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/4af2a026ffd07199c1256db8002f701c?Opendocument, and also here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[3] Law on Child Protection, UU 23/2002, art. 2, 24; The Explanation of Law 23 of the year 2002 on Child Protection, General, art. 2 (unofficial translations completed by a translator provided by the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization).

[4] The Explanation of Law 23 of the year 2002 on Child Protection, art. 2.

[5] Law on Child Protection, supra note 3, art. 34.

[6] Id.

[7] Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Human Rights Report: Indonesia, U.S. State Department, ¶5 (2005), available http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41643.htm, and also here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[8] Second periodic report, supra note 2, at ¶235.

[9] Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, supra note 7.

[10] Id.

[11] Id.

[12] Undang-Undang Tentang Perlindungan Anak, UU 23/2002, art. 2, 24, available at http://www.hampapua.org/skp/hukum/uu23-2002i.pdf, and also here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[13] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), available at http://www.unicef.org/magic/media/documents/CRC_bahasa_indonesia_version.pdf, and also here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[14] Penjelasan atas Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 23 Tahun 2002 Tentang Perlindungan Anak [The Explanation of Law 23 of the year 2002 on Child Protection], Umum, art. 2, available at http://www.hampapua.org/skp/hukum/uu23-2002i.pdf, and also here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[15] Unofficial translations completed by a translator provided by the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization.

[16] Law on Child Protection, UU 23/2002, art. 2, 24.

[17] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989), available at http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm.

[18] The explanations of laws are printed at the end of the statutes which they reference.  It is unclear if explanations have legal authority, but they are nonetheless important in interpreting the meaning of the statute.

[19] The Explanation of Law 23 of the year 2002 on Child Protection, General, art. 2.

 

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