Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi said on Monday that his ministry was working with the Law and Human Rights Ministry to draft a joint ministerial decree to define "human rights"– a definition that will be used as benchmark in drafting bylaws.
According to Gamawan, such a decree is important due to the many definitions of human rights being promoted nationwide.
"We must regulate the definition of human rights so that the implementation will not violate religious and cultural values embraced in certain parts of the country, which have their own traits," Gamawan said on sidelines of a hearing with the House of Representatives Commission II on regional administrations on Monday.
He cited Aceh as an example, highlighting that the implementation of human rights – as is internationally understood – must adapt to the sharia implemented in the province.
The joint ministerial decree is among the three regulations the Indonesian government has offered to set up in response to its refusal to adopt 30 "critical" recommendations by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after a quadrennial human rights review in May.
In addition to the decree, the government has also announced that it will establish a law on human rights friendly districts and finalize the long-awaited truth and reconciliation bill to deal with past human rights abuses.
"People usually condemn the government's attempt to regulate them as a violation of human rights. They forget that they must also respect the rights of others. Article 28 of the Constitution clearly states that our rights are limited by the law. Therefore, there is no such thing as total freedom. We are bound by the rights of our neighbors," Gamawan said.
Article 28(j) of the 1945 Constitution stipulates that each person has the obligation to respect the fundamental rights of others while partaking in the life of the community, the nation and the state.
It further says that in exercising rights and liberties, each person has the duty to accept the limitations determined by law for the sole purposes of guaranteeing the recognition and respect of the rights and liberties of other people and of satisfying a democratic society's just demands based on considerations of morality, religious values, security and public order. (swd)