a Reminder to Keep Protecting Indiscriminately

Posted Under Access to Justice

Every year, Human Rights Watch publishes the report on that summarizes human rights issues in more than 90 countries worldwide. The report can be accessed here:

One of the highlighted issues in Indonesia is Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. This brings us back to July 2016, when the Constitutional Court heard a judicial review case to change the definitions of adultery and sodomy in the Criminal Code. The petition, which made by a group named AILA (Family Love Alliance), aims to criminalize all consensual sexual activities outside of marriage and all behaviours pertaining to any form of sexuality they deem “deviant”.

PUSKAPA’s stance is that ruling in favor of this petition would hurt child protection efforts in Indonesia. Criminalizing extramarital and nonconforming sexual activities would not magically end all such activities around the country. Instead, it would alienate more girls and boys from themselves, their caregivers, and their communities, exposing them to greater harm and contributing to an increasing rate of juvenile detention. PUSKAPA has filed an amicus brief to the Constitutional Court, with arguments supported by scientific and legalistic evidence (you can access the Bahasa Indonesia version here: On October 2016, one of our Co-Directors, Prof. Irwanto, who is also an expert in HIV/AIDS, was appointed as the expert for National Commission on Violence Against Women, and presented his arguments before the court.

Up until now, we are still waiting for the Court’s decision. It has been a long journey, but in the end, by keep doing what we do, we aim to make sure all policies protect everyone, indiscriminately. We believe that for policy making, good intention needs to be paired with sufficient evidence to ensure that it will not cause harm or any forms of discrimination.