The government of Indonesia has responded to UN recommendations to recognize the rights of its indigenous peoples by claiming that none live in Indonesia.

In fact, Indonesia is home to an estimated 50-70 million indigenous and tribal people.

In a response to the United Nations Periodic Review, a four–year human rights check-up for all countries, Indonesia said this month, ‘The Government of Indonesia supports the promotion and protection of indigenous people worldwide… Indonesia, however, does not recognize the application of the indigenous peoples concept… in the country’.

The UN’s report recommended that Indonesia should consider ratifying ILO Convention 169, the only international law for indigenous and tribal peoples. It also recommended that Indonesia should secure the rights of indigenous peoples, especially to their traditional lands, territories and resources. Indonesia’s denial of the existence of indigenous peoples within its borders was in response to this.

Survival International believes that Indonesia treats its indigenous and tribal people, especially in West Papua, worse than any other country in the world. In West Papua killings, torture and rape of tribal people are commonplace – the figure of 100,000 people killed since 1963 is believed to be a conservative estimate.

The denial of the very existence of indigenous peoples in Indonesia is symptomatic of the government’s total disregard for their rights.

Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, will travel to the UK for a State visit on October 31st. (Source)

Note to Editors: You can read the UN’s Periodic Review on Indonesia here (PDF, 2.6 MB) You can read Indonesia’s response to the review here (PDF, 368 KB)

 © Survival International
VIDEO Indonesia’s brutal attack on West Papuan rally

Responses to "Indonesia denies it has any indigenous peoples"

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is appauling to see how people are being treated so brutally. This is 2012, it is a time to come together in Unity, while Honoring Diversity and Compassion with LOVE being our common denominator... NOT BRUTALITY, FEAR, MURDER, DESTRUCTION and POWER.

    My prayers go out to these Spiritual Beings who are being treated as though they have no purpose on this planet. Prayers for PEACE, For Healing and Tranformation are being said. Prayers for Human Rights being Respected and Honored for ALL People.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing this report.

  3. Terje says:

    OMG! this is terrible. does anybody know when and where and by whom is the video taken?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing I had no idea neither any knowledge about this.
    Human respect and honer should be for all people...

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