The Jakarta Post
Amid the ongoing mass protests against the government and members of the House of Representatives, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has urged all parties to protect child protesters from violence as well as to uphold their right to express their opinions during the protests.
UNICEF representative Debora Comini said that children had the right to express their opinions.
"Children and young people in Indonesia have the right to express themselves and engage in dialogue on issues that affect them, and we must ensure they receive timely and appropriate support if they come into contact with the law," she said in a written statement received by The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) noted that many of the high school students who joined the protest did not know what they were actually protesting about.
KPAI commissioner Retno Lisyarti said that many of the students claimed they decided to join the mass protest on Sept. 25 after receiving invitations on social media. Some even said they joined because they had been promised free food and drinks.
During Monday night's protest, the KPAI also recorded at least 87 injured protestors had been taken to Mintohardjo Naval Hospital in Central Jakarta when members of the organization made a visit to the hospital at around 8.45 p.m.
These injured protesters comprised university and high school students.
"Most of them went to the hospital to receive treatment after coming in contact with tear gas. One student also suffered blunt head trauma," Retno told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.