Human rights has always been at the forefront of our programs in Indonesia. In 2005, Development and Peace actively responded to the Indian Ocean tsunami, particularly in the region of Banda Aceh, where it implemented a long-term reconstruction program that strengthened communities, improved their living conditions and created resilience to future disasters.
“I have difficulties with my legs because of polio… With the women’s group, I have improved my skills and social activities. I can sell my crafts and it helps me with my daily expenses.”
Anita, member of a community association for women with disabilities organized by Development and Peace partner KPI.
Today, a large part of our program is focused on the island of Sulawesi, where mining interests and the exploitation of other natural resources are threatening farming and indigenous communities and the environment. We are also supporting national organizations in promoting a culture of democracy through the monitoring of human rights violations and support to independent journalists, as well as strengthening equality between men and women through the establishment of local women’s associations.
After years under the military dictatorship of General Suharto, which proliferated a culture of corruption, Indonesia is striving to establish itself as a strong democracy. The call by some ethnic groups for secession has led to conflict in some parts of the country, and ethnic tensions and clashes persist.
Deforestation for the purpose of large-scale plantations of monocultures, such as palm oil, is creating concerns for the ability of small-scale farmers to survive, as landgrabs, forced evictions and the criminalization of famers are becoming increasingly common.
The exploitation of natural resources is placing strains on communities and the environment. A disaster-prone country, Indonesia is home to several active volcanoes and parts of the country were completely ravaged by the 2005 Indian Ocean Tsunami.