CHRM2 Convenes Meeting Between Jember Local Parliament Members and Civil Society to Scrutinize Legislation About Prostitution
On December 19, 2019, the Centre for Human Rights, Multiculturalism, and Migration, in partnership with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), convened a consultation and seminar to scrutinise Perder Jember No. 14/2011. Participants hailed from various sectors including local parliament members, academic researchers, and human rights NGOs.
The event began with remarks from Agus Wijayanto, WFD’s Indonesia Country Representative, who highlighted the prevalence of local regulations that disproportionately discriminate against vulnerable groups. Wijayanto specified that the regulation in question perpetuates this trend with further stigmatization of sex workers. His comments were followed by Head of Local Regulation Committee of DPRD Jember Ghufron, who delineated the many problems that hamper regulation making and monitoring in Jember. Ghufron reaffirmed the Committee’s commitment to evaluating the Perda on Prostitution. These remarks were followed by a lively panel discussion with a panel comprised of: CHRM2’s Al Khanif, Indonesia’s Ministry of Home Affairs Rozi Beni, and WFD Indonesia’s Agust Wijayanto.
Concurrently, the conveners supported a separate discussion with Koalisi Perempuan (KP), or The Women’s Coalition, to bolster the efforts of young advocates and civil society members who are working to strengthen human rights advocacy for women. This was part of the “16 Days Against Violence Against Women” campaign. In addition to remarks and discussion from university students and KP members alike, the event included movie screenings that conveyed the stigma women endure in Indonesian society.
The event concluded with a unanimous recommendation to revise the regulation that included:
- Employ an approach that recognizes and values human rights
- Involve civil society, health and social workers, and the sex workers themselves
- Focus on ending forms of human trafficking, forced, prostitution, child prostitution
- Obligations that the local government provide assistance and protection in a sustainable and meaningful way
A day full of energetic debate, lively exchange, and interdisciplinary perspectives, this event is part of CHRM2’s continued effort to bring attention to human rights issues in Jember and to Indonesia as a whole. The centre hopes to continue proposing solutions alongside its vast network of local leadership and civil society participants.