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Jakarta Post

Lawmakers to push House to endorse indigenous peoples bill

  • Alya Nurbaiti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 5, 2020   /   03:16 pm
Lawmakers to push House to endorse indigenous peoples bill Members of indigenous communities participate in the commemoration of International Indigenous Peoples Day at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Jakarta on Aug. 9, 2019. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Lawmakers will push for the House of Representatives to endorse the indigenous peoples bill during the next plenary meeting in order to speed up the bill’s deliberation.

House Legislation Body (Baleg) deputy chairman Willy Aditya of the NasDem Party said the bill’s working committee he leads had held meetings to deliberate the bill since April.

During the committee’s meeting on Friday, eight of nine fractions had agreed to seek the House’s endorsement on the bill during the next plenary meeting.

“This is part of our support on issues pertaining to marginalized communities. We hope that this bill will guarantee protection and recognition for the community,” said Willy.

Read also: After 75 years of independence, indigenous peoples in Indonesia still struggling for equal

He conveyed his hope that the House’s plenary meeting would endorse this bill, so it could be passed into a law soon.

Civil society organizations and indigenous communities have been urging the House for years to deliberate and pass the indigenous peoples bill, which will provide recognition of the customary laws of indigenous communities in certain matters, such as the management of natural resources and the distribution of inherited land.

Indigenous communities, widely deemed as the guardians of forests, have faced oppression on their own land as well as being stigmatized and underrepresented in all aspects of the economy, social affairs, politics and culture.

The deliberation, however, had been halted several times, most recently because of the government’s reluctance to submitting its assessment of the bill.