“The benchmark of welfare in population administration sector is when there is no single individual missed in the ownership of [legal identity] document,” said Prof. Dr. Zudan Arif Fakrulloh, the Director Jenderal of Population Administration and Civil Registration in his address entitled “A Decade of Population Administration Law: Achievements and Challenges” during the launching of Civil Society Working Group for Legal Identity (Pokja Identitas Hukum in Indonesian), on February 21st.
Being a part of the Working Group together with IKI, Kemitraan, LBH APIK, PEKKA, and GANDI, PUSKAPA strongly agrees with his statement. This is because up to this moment, there are still numerous critical problems faced by the poor and marginalized groups in getting the legal identity. SUSENAS (2016) noted distance, cost, and procedure as the common problems faced by the community. The issuance of the legal identity is free, yet the absence of service down to village level incurs various costs to get them. This problem is made worse by poor cross-sectoral coordination which further decreases service provider’s chance to reach out the poor and marginals. Both groups have frequently missed in the development process.
Furthermore, advocacy on legal identity is not fully consolidated. One of the causes is the vacuum of Civil Registry Consortium: a multi-stakeholder consortium which initiated the Civil Registry Law which later on became part of Law No. 23/2006 on Population Administration. The peak was during the first revision of the Law on Population Administration, which was undertaken by the government almost without any civil society involvement. The public was stunned when the law revision was passed, leaving behind so many population administrative issues uncovered in the law. This is different from the heated debate in the midst of 2000 when Population Administration Law, for the first time in the country’s history, was discussed and debated in the parliament.
The working group will ceaselessly support the government to produce inclusive, non-discriminatory and accountable policies to ensure that the whole population from various social-economic, ethnic, religion, faith, and gender groups get their legal identity. The working group relies on empirical evidence to build its basis of argument and encourages evidence-based discourse. Thus, various recommendations it proposes to the government will always be available to be scientifically tested.
The Working Group for Legal Identity welcomes the broadest participation for various CSOs to join and work together to create an inclusive, non-discriminatory, and accountable legal identity system. It solidly believes that by merging multiple existing resources, well-directed and measured advocacy works will contribute more significantly to the development of Indonesian civil registration system that can ensure the ownership of legal identity by every Indonesian citizen.