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Indonesia: ASEAN MPs welcome decision by Supreme Court to uphold Decree on Sexual Violence

22/04/2022

Indonesia: ASEAN MPs welcome decision by Supreme Court to uphold Decree on Sexual Violence

JAKARTA – ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) welcomes the decision made on Tuesday by the Supreme Court of Indonesia to uphold the Decree issued last year by the Ministry of Education to prevent and treat sexual violence, including verbal, non-physical, and digital acts,  in Higher Education, after it was challenged by a community organization from West Sumatra arguing it encouraged extra-marital sex.

In the context of rampant sexism, discriminative laws and the ongoing marginalization of women, the Supreme Court decision and the recent approval of the Anti-Sexual Violence bill in Parliament are a breath of fresh air in Indonesia. Much remains to be done, especially on implementation, but these are steps in the right direction towards gender equality and bringing about better protection for all Indonesian women and girls,”  said Mu Sochua, an APHR Board Member and former Cambodian MP.

In the face of increasing incidents of sexual harrassment in Indonesia, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology made a progressive move by issuing a decree in 2021 aimed at eliminating sexual violence in universities by focusing on prevention and the victims’ recovery. However, in March Lembaga Kerapatan Adat Alam Minangkabau (LKAAM), an organization from West Sumatra, challenged it on spurious grounds that the Decree’s phrasing encouraged adultery.

The Supreme Court of Indonesia has made the right decision in upholding the decree, a decision that is aligned with the principle of gender equality and freedom of religion or belief that guarantees the individual rights of all Indonesians to be free of harassment regardless of their gender, said APHR.

Click here to read this statement in Bahasa Indonesian.

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ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) was founded in June 2013 with the objective of promoting democracy and human rights across Southeast Asia. Our founding members include many of the region's most progressive Members of Parliament (MPs), with a proven track record of human rights advocacy work.

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