Although they have the strongest historical and emotional ties to their land, indigenous groups in Indonesia are at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to secured land tenure rights and legal access to natural resources. For the greater part of history, indigenous communities have been trying in vain to assert their traditional rights and redefine their role in Indonesian statehood.
Indigenous rights have, however, been severely undermined for the sake of development or other “national interests”. Reformasi has, since 1998, opened the channel for many disenfranchised groups, like indigenous peoples, to demand social justice.
A new study from 15 countries, including Indonesia, titled “The scramble for land rights” by the World Resources Institute, highlights significant disparities between companies and indigenou...
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