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Indonesian Government Criticized for Prioritizing Economy Over Human Rights

July 8, 2020, 05.56 PM

JAKARTA, – The Indonesian government received harsh criticism from the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) for prioritizing the national economy over human rights in managing the coronavirus pandemic.

“The government, if I may criticize, prioritized the economic perspective compared to human rights perspective in their management of the coronavirus pandemic,” Komnas Perempuan’s Bahrul Fuad said at an online discussion on ‘Fulfilling the Rights of Senior Citizens and People with Disabilities in the New Normal Era’ on July 7.

Read also: WHO Cautions Indonesia on New Normal Preparations

Bahrul believes that aside from not giving importance to human rights, the government does not have a clear priority as it navigates through the pandemic.

Prioritizing vulnerable groups during the country’s Covid-19 management process has not been evident, according to Bahrul.

“The priority isn’t clear.”  

Read also: 7 in 10 Indonesians with Disabilities Don't Fully Grasp Covid-19 Health Protocols

Previously, President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo said that the state of the Indonesian economy due the coronavirus pandemic is far worse than the 1998 Asian financial crisis.

During an event with a number of retired Indonesians on June 19, the Indonesian President said that during the Asian financial crisis, the ones hit hardest were the banking sector and conglomerates.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has affected all sectors and economic classes.

Read also: Indonesia’s Economy to Grow 0.1 Percent This Year, Says Economist

“Now, everyone is affected. Production, supply, and demand have all been impacted by the pandemic. So has micro, small, medium, and large enterprises,” said Jokowi.

Jokowi added that the Indonesian economy will be hardest hit during the second quarter of 2020 where economic growth is predicted to hit negative territory.

Read also: More Indonesian SMEs Poised to Gain Access to Social Assistance Programs

However, Jokowi said that the government will not sit back amid these tough economic conditions.

The Indonesian government has ensured that the society will receive assistance through social assistance programs.

Rising domestic violence 

Survey results from Komnas Perempuan in June 2020 indicated that there has been a rise in domestic violence cases against women during the coronavirus pandemic.

As many as 2,285 respondents participated in the survey which was conducted online between April and May.

“Around 80 percent of female respondents from the group with a salary below Rp 5 million per month stated that the frequency of domestic violence has increased during the pandemic,” said Maria Ulfah Anshor as Commissioner of Komnas Perempuan on June 3.

The survey revealed that on average, the forms of domestic abuse were mostly on psychological and economic terms.

Furthermore, physical and sexual abuse increased in households with a higher income.

Maria said that less than 10 percent of the female victims have reported their case as many opted to stay silent or only share with their friends, relatives, or neighbors. 

(Writer: Sania Mashabi, Dian Erika Nugraheny | Editor: Diamanty Meiliana, Icha Rastika) 


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