Statement by the Indonesian Delegation at the14th session of the Human Rights Council, Item 3: Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons

June 3, 2010 Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues

Mr. President,

My delegation would like to thank the Special Rapporteurs for their dedicated and comprehensive work.

On the topic of freedom of expression, we fully endorse the SR’s reminder of the central role of freedom of expression as a fundamental right which guarantees and facilitates the enjoyment of a number of other inalienable rights.

From the outset, Indonesia has made untrammeled freedom of expression a hallmark of the development of our democratic state and institutions. Through an impressively high number of political parties, and with the wide platform provided by a highly outspoken and vibrant press and media, our mosaic society can give free rein to a multiplicity of views and opinions.

These are also relayed through a growing electronic media network. With 12% of Indonesians using the Internet and more than half the population owning a mobile telephone, our country ranks respectively 6th and 13th in the world, putting it well within reach of the important sources of information which are so crucial to development and to education as a means of driving back poverty.

We note the report’s insistence on the key importance, in promoting a balanced and dynamic society, of giving women and minorities in need of particular attention the fullest access to information, and a free voice. Therefore we shall continue to adapt our policies to meet this goal, in line with our commitment to promote and protect the rights of all segments of our society.

We are no less convinced of the key role of the press and media in spreading a culture of tolerance and understanding in open societies, free from racial or religious prejudice. As we have often stated in this forum, we believe in being receptive to other cultures and ideologies and have for many years been active proponents of religious dialogue.

Mr. President,

I would now like to move on to the report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, which we have found very informative. Indeed, it provides a comprehensive overview of the myriad regional organizations and mechanisms involved in the fight to combat trafficking in persons and there is much that we can all learn from the report’s conclusions and the best practices described therein.

The report highlights some of the best practices that are deemed central to the successful understanding, prevention, eradication and criminalization of trafficking in persons. They include, among others, an approach which is unequivocally human rights-based; the need for strong normative legislation and standards; coordination at the highest levels, preferably ministerial, in order to carry weight and ensure mainstreaming through all relevant regional mechanisms; and common work plans and strategies. If these concepts feature prominently and systematically in national and regional efforts, the efficacy of responses will be greatly enhanced.

Indonesia’s own efforts within the Asia-Pacific region have been deployed under the ten-country regional organization, ASEAN, and another major regional mechanism, the Bali Process. As mentioned in the report, the ASEAN programme to combat trafficking, namely the Asian Regional Cooperation to Prevent People Trafficking (ARCPPT) (2003-2006), and its successor, have scored some notable successes.

Run in cooperation with Australia, the current Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project (ARTIPP) provides a regional focal network to prevent andcombat trafficking in persons, particularly women and children, with emphasis on supporting victims of trafficking and punishing perpetrators. It focuses on building capacity in the countries of the region, providing training in the areas of law enforcement, judicial and prosecutorial functions; input to policy; targeted research; and outreach.This inisiative includes vast regional and international grouping of some 50 source, transit and receiving (destination) countries, which is also partnered by UNHCR, IOM, and various NGOs

Mr. President,

It seems to us, in conclusion, that still more needs to be done to raise awareness of and emphasize the heinousness of the crime of trafficking in persons, and especially of women and children as its most vulnerable victims. Which prompts us to ask the SR, in reference to paragraph 122 of her report, whether the same communication technologies which pose a threat to potential victims could also be used massively (notably television) to disseminate information and raise awareness among populations on all aspects of human trafficking?

Thank you.

Geneva, 3 June 2010