Country X Human Rights

8 Desember 2020, 100% Manusia Film Festival

Do not underestimate human rights equality and do not ignore human rights violations.

Greetings to you all.

In two days’ time, 10 December 2020, we will celebrate World Human Rights Day. This reminds me, Nurlan Silitonga, as an Indonesian citizen born 56 years ago, that each human being born into this earth is a free person with their own dignity and equal basic rights.

Like everyone else I love my rights, and at the same time I am also conscious that I do not live alone. In order to survive, we need to share our lives with other human beings. So besides have rights, we also have the responsibility to respect other people’s rights in our daily lives. This includes to a certain extent, active participation in fighting for other people’s equal rights and to protect those from human rights violations.

Why do I believe in this?

I am reminded by the history of human rights violations across the globe, including in our beloved country Indonesia. These violations only cause pain and destruction.

I am grateful that I was not born in the time of colonialization. I am grateful that I am well-educated and that I can secure a job and profession I love. I am grateful that my basic rights are fulfilled. But I am also aware, and can never deny that many of my fellow human beings are not fortunate enough; their basic rights are silences, tormented, or even raped, if I may say so.

Sadly, these human rights violations are often only seen in the headline news, and as usual, many community leaders will only respond by giving normative comments which actually mean nothing. Just empty and hollow words. Some want to play safe or may even use these responses to boost their popularity. Community members may also give quick responses, through likes and shares, and through discussions. Some will show their empathy, some would easily make judgements without trying to look for the real facts. Then the news slowly disappears with no trace, and becomes forgotten and replaced by another sensational news.

I am convinced, that besides those we hear in the news, there are many other case of human rights violation under the surface, either because it is not reported or it is deliberately hidden from the public.

I have the impression that many world leaders, including in Indonesia, now just that it lightly or are just indifferent towards human rights violations. They may perhaps think that if the economy improves, then human right violations will automatically decrease.

This may be due to the fact that many current leaders did not go through the hardships and sufferings of civil war, or have never had their own rights ot the rights of their relatives being silenced, tormented or raped.

They may perhaps think that human right violations on other people will have no direct impact on them whatsoever.

They may perhaps think that human right violations are still small scale and will do no harm, as it is only happening to small groups of people, minority groups and marginalized people

Or maybe our elected leaders of today are more interested in boosting their popularity by giving nice promises, to maintain their power, and do not really care about the destruction that will have effect on their fellow human beings, their constituents, and their people. Perhaps these leaders were raised in environments full of hatred and violence.

I think that the leaders’ behavior and attitude towards human rights violations is a reflection of the majority in society. It was the majority who elected the leaders and trusted them to lead, right?  When society does not understand or does not care about equality and human rights violation, then none of the leaders would care about this matter.

How is the human rights situation in Indonesia?

As a law-abiding country, Indonesia upholds the human rights of all its citizens. This is clearly stated in the state ideology, the 1945 Constitution, and by the fact that there is a Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

I understand that to practice human rights equality is no easy task to be done by a country or even by an individual. That is why Indonesia is not immune from any human rights violations done by the state, by its leaders or by fellow citizens.

I do hope that Indonesia, through its leaders, will not look away from or disregard any case of rights violations. It is the responsibility of the state to educate the people as early as possible to understand rights equality and rights violations, and to guarantee that human rights equality will be an integral part of national development planning and implementation.

What can I do?

I am actively participating in providing solutions to increase practices for human right equality, instead of being someone who can only complain and criticize. Within my own limitations, I try my best to respect other people’s rights and protect those people from human right violations.

Through Angsamerah, together with my colleagues, I take responsibility as a citizen of Indonesia and of the world, to increase human rights equality through the following:

  • To practice zero intolerance towards diversity. This is important to build, nurture and spread this to many others. We are worried about the systematic increase of intolerance in society, and the silence of our leaders.
  • To respect one’s sexuality and preference, and to assist them in gaining a healthy sexual life. Issues of sexuality have been our main concern, since it is still considered taboo or there is very little understanding about it in our society. This leads to the many regulations made which often are to the disadvantage of certain people. Some examples are laws that regulate and judge people’s rights to privacy and sexual preference.
  • To provide health care services which are of good quality, friendly and accessible.
  • To open opportunities for our team to grow, to learn the importance of self-reliance and critical thinking; thus not making decisions too quickly.

How about you? What have you done, or are doing now, or will be doing in the future?

Thank you

Love to you all.


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