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The Second Special Autonomy and the New Autonomous Region (DOB) were enacted by Indonesian government as new policy for West Papua, Indonesia, throughout 2022. These were drawn attention from other parties because that policy created more divisions in the middle of pro and contra, including how to establish where will be the administrative capital city.

Further, the idea of dialog building between Jakarta and Papua planned by the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights has stalled because the armed conflict between TPNPB (Papuans Army for liberation) and TNI/Polri (the Indonesian military) was marked by early 2023.

The escalation of conflict in this area is still going to increase caused by deployment of more members of the Indonesian security forces due to the case of a pilot, Philip Mark Mahrtens from New Zealand, kidnapped by TPNPB. Many other cases have been violating the Papuan sense of justice, namely, the person who was suspected doing human rights abuses in 2014 in Paniai, a small city in Puncak Jaya Regency, was declared to be free by the local court; the freedom of expression demonstrated by student groups were responded by local authorities repressively; several public officials were arrested under accusation of corruption such as the Governor of Papua Lukas Enembe, the Regent of Central Memberamo, Ricky Ham Pagawak; the process formal education at schools stopped in Pegunungan Bintang Regency; transmigration program to new autonomous regions will increasingly displace Indigenous Papuan People, etc.

To respond the high tension of conflict, JPIC Franciscan Papua continues to build networking and collaboration with other NGOs, as an example Southeast Asia Freeedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet), and carried out capacity building and training on “transitional justice” as well as implemented faith-based networks to assist the new Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights pursuit to defend human rights in Papua. The Office also launched the diary of Memoria Passionis 2022 entitled Terpasung di Rumah Sendiri (Trapped in Our Own House) on 27 April 2023 in Jayapura and in Jakarta with Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights and NGO partners.

Regarding number of human rights violations are still happening at the grassroots level, JPIC Franciscan Papua and other NGOs are struggling to monitor the implementation of International Recommendations such as the Universal Periodic Review, including Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and other UN recommendations even though there are limited resources and time.

JPIC Franciscan Papua itself worked to help the victims through advocacy, strong coordination, giving a statement at the UN in February 2023, and will participate on the 53rd Sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2023. At the same time, Franciscan pastoral care is being provided to accompany the victims of human rights violations. Currently, JPIC Franciscan Papua organized some meetings with NGO partners and the leaders of local Churches to discuss the necessity of the “Papua Land of Peace” campaign that proclaimed first time in 2006. The next series of activities of the JPIC Office are interfaith youth dialogues, scientific article writers’ meetings, making peace campaign videos, and a national seminar in June 2023 as the culmination of the event.

Fr. Alexandro F. Rangga OFM

Coordinator of JPIC OFM Office in West Papua-Indonesia