The Jakarta Post
While reiterating support for the city administration's development plans, National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) and local activists have demanded that the administration impose a moratorium on forced evictions until standard procedures on relocation are drawn up.
The demand was conveyed following the forced eviction of residents of flood-prone Kampung Pulo in Jatinegara, East Jakarta, which turned violent last week. The city intends to demolish hundreds of homes housing around 1,040 families in the area.
The families have the option of relocating to three apartment complexes in the municipality: nearby Jatinegara Barat, which has 520 units, Komaruddin Apartments in Cakung and Cipinang Besar Selatan Apartment, all in East Jakarta.
'Komnas HAM fully supports development programs and law enforcement. However, the process should respect human rights [a moratorium and standard procedures] are necessary because [Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama] plans more [evictions]. I hope the incident in Kampung Pulo will be the last,' Komnas HAM Commissioner Anshori Sinungan told a press conference in Jakarta on Monday, adding that the city administration should adopt a less formal approach when dealing with social issues.
Komnas HAM Commissioner Nurkhoiron added that they also called for transparency on spatial planning and he criticized the misleading portrayal of Kampung Pulo residents.
'The media contributed to the inaccurate portrayal of Kampung Pulo residents as merely poor people who caused floods in the capital, down-playing their social capital of being involved in the city's relocation program,' Khoiron said.
Gugun Muhammad of the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) said relocating residents, most of whom were employed in the informal economy, would only impoverish them. 'Most of them immediately lost their daily income,' he said.
LBH Jakarta lawyer Handika Febrian said the city administration's approach to relocating residents failed to respect law and human rights, while Jakarta Residents Forum (Fakta) chairman Azas Tigor Nainggolan added that the current administration maintained an outdated approach.
'The number of forced evictions is similar [to previous administrations] and the current administration still uses an obsolete approach to evicting residents: using an excessive use of force. For example, the city deployed more than 2,000 security personnel in last week's forced eviction in Kampung Pulo,' he said.
Khoiron said Komnas HAM planned to establish a team tasked with studying spatial planning dimensions and analyzing the city administration's policies on spatial planning, particularly those regarding flood mitigation efforts, during an internal plenary session in September.
Commenting on the criticism, Ahok defended his policy, saying the city administration took into consideration the residents' rights. He rejected the idea that the city had violated human rights. He also denied that the city administration did not have standard procedures.
'We have a reason for every eviction that we carry out. For example, residents in Kampung Pulo are disrupting the flow of the Ciliwung River,' the governor said.
Separately, Jakarta Housing and Government Building Agency head Ika Lestari Aji said that the city had introduced programs to safeguard the residents' financial situation, social welfare and maintain the environment in which they lived.
'Many evicted residents are traders who sell various goods. We must make sure that they can continue to trade after being relocated. This is a task of the KUKMP [Cooperatives, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Trade] Agency,' Ika told reporters at City Hall on Monday.
Further, she said, the Manpower and Transmigration Agency also provided training in various sectors for residents of city-run apartment complexes, ranging from driving and manufacturing to operating heavy equipment.
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