Categories
Development Human Rights Indigenous Peoples Indonesia

Declared – Not Acquired

I am planning to do a field research on the negotiations of human rights in the context of agricultural modernisation in Merauke, Papua, next year. In preparation for this visit, I have written a paper that addresses the complexity, or cornucopia, of laws in Indonesia regarding food, food security, and general food law. I added a small case study on hunger in Yahukimo to illustrate my argument.

Abstract:

The right of everyone to be free from hunger is recognised as fundamental in the international human rights laws. This means that states have the obligation to take immediate measures against this adversity. However, optimism towards state compliance in this regard is challenged by the intricacies in state laws, regulations and practices that buttress the measures to eradicate hunger. This chapter depicts the complexity of addressing hunger as a violation of the right to food in Indonesia. Based from a comparative analysis of the Indonesian human rights law, general food law and disaster management law as well as an examination of state measures against the hunger in Yahukimo, Papua, the chapter highlights that one can expect little when normative points of the right to food are being used as the standards of enforcement. In reality, people’s actual command to food commodity is being governed according to the prevailing struggles and relationships of people, context and power.

This article will be published in the book ‘Governing Food Security: Law, Politics and the Right to Food’, which I co-edited with my colleague, Dr. O. Hospes.

Categories
Human Rights Indonesia

Defensive Enforcement: Human Rights in Indonesia

There are not many academic articles that portray the general description of human rights in Indonesia in peer-reviewed international journal.

This article entitled ‘Defensive Enforcement: Human Rights in Indonesia’ published in Human Rights ReviewVol. 11(3), pp. 373-399, is attempt to explain the factors behind the current status of human rights enforcement in this country.

The objective of the article is to examine the human rights enforcement in Indonesian legal and political system. This is done by studying the legal basis of human rights, the process of proliferation of human rights discourse, and the actual controversies of human rights enforcement. The study has the effect of highlighting some of the immense deficits in ensuring that violations are treated under judicial procedure and the protection of human rights is available and accessible for victims. The author inevitably came into a conclusion that the openness of legal and political arenas for human rights discourses is not followed with a tangible impact on the entitlement positions of the people. The problems of the weak institutions and the unenthusiastic enforcement show that, in Indonesia, human rights are formally adopted as a political strategy to avoid substantial implementation.

Categories
Governance Human Rights Indigenous Peoples

Legal Complexity and the Right to Food

For the Critical Legal Theory Conference, organized by Utrecht University this year, I presented a paper on ‘Legal Complexity and the Right to Food’ in the Methodology Panel.

The paper is set out to analyse what it means to study state obligations to progressive realisation of the right to food from the perspective legal complexity. This perspective studies law not in isolation, rather in the existence of multiple legal systems at socio-political space of states. The paper highlights that employing legal complexity, particularly with its understanding on interlegality and space, may enable one to gain insights in the ways that states measure their commitment to carry their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food.

If interested you can download the paper on my SSRN page.

I am planning to develop this idea into a publication in an article peer-reviewed journal.
Categories
Food Security Human Rights Indonesia

Food Security and Human Brights

My article on ‘Food Security and Human Rights’ is published in Development in PracticeVol. 20 (1), 2010, pp. 122-130.

Here is the abstract:

Food is crucial to an adequate standard of living. The acknowledgement of the right to food in government policies is fundamental to the protection of human dignity, particularly in relation to food insecurity. It allows the right-holder to seek redress and hold government accountable for non-fulfilment. With reference to Indonesia, the article highlights deficits in meeting obligations to the right to food as stipulated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The state links food policy to the issue of national stability, with a resulting focus on the national rather than household or individual levels, and the inhibition at the grassroots of the right to food.

Categories
Development Human Rights Indonesia

Hazard or Right?

My book is finally published!

Here is the abstract of the 31st volume of the School of Human Rights Research Series:

Contrary to the generally positive connotation of development as structural improvement in people’s well-being, development policies, programmes and projects often affect people’s lives in a negative way. Is there, then, a protection against such “development hazards”? The question is highly topical as about ten million people annually enter the cycle of forced displacement and relocation due to development projects. Their lack of access to decision-making on development policies is part of the problem. In this context the internationally declared right to development might offer a solution as it stipulates free and meaningful participation.

The analyses in this thesis show that the official and international consensus on the moral ideas behind the right to development is insufficient to guarantee proliferation and implementation of that discourse at the grass root level. In Indonesia, efforts towards implementation reflect different dynamics entailing competing encounters between all stakeholders, which sometimes are unfavourable to the poor. Notably, the enforcement of the right to development – as both a legal resource and a political instrument to change development practices – needs to be firmly rooted in an enabling, rather than adverse, national environment.

While opening a new dialogue on the right to development as an instrument to combat development hazards, this book reveals the complex interface between human rights and development as actually practised.
You can order the book online via this link.