Revision on Law on Population Administration: For More Inclusive Services

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Yusuf is the Traditional Head of Orang Rimba, who is willing to take a long and unpleasant journey to Jakarta. Together with several other Orang Rimba, he departed in a pickup truck from Jambi in hopes of returning with the Village Decree to take care of legal identity documents. Without the Village Decree, Yusuf and the other Orang Rimba would still be considered as people with no "place to live" and could not get the documents.

BBC coverage on Orang Rimba: Already converted, there is also no ID card, tells of Yusuf’s and the Orang Rimba’s vain attempts to obtain legal identity documents. The director general of the ministry of home affairs’ population and civil registration division, Zudan Arif Fakrulloh, firmly stated that he could not provide KTP and KK to people living in the forest. Whereas for Yusuf, the absence of legal identity documents made it very difficult for him, his son and the rest of the Orang Rimba to get basic services to support their lives. "We do this so that our children have the same opportunities as outsiders," Yusuf said.

The position of the director general who refused to provide legal identity documents for Orang Rimba is not without basis. Within the framework of the current population administration regulations, a person needs to fill in the population data so that he/she can obtain a legal identity document. Article 60 of Law 23/2006 on Population Administration requires the completion of the address column in the biodata. This certainly discriminates against the Orang Rimba, who do not have an "address" because they live nomadically or live permanently in areas that have not been registered as government administration areas.

Law 23/2006 on Population Administration and its amendments (Law 24/2013) also still holds a number of other regulatory weaknesses. The law still does not accommodate the Constitutional Court's decision regarding the inclusion of native-faith followers (penghayat kepercayaan) population documents (see MK Decision Number 97 / PUU-XIV / 2016). The law also still contains the obligation that residents must report important events and population events within a certain time limit. This is not in line with the principle of legal identity documents as rights. In addition, this obligation is the basis for the Regional Government to impose administrative fines on residents who are late in reporting and increasingly make residents reluctant to take care of population documents for cost reasons (see SUSENAS 2016). The protection of the confidentiality of personal data in the Law is also limited to data on KK numbers, NIK, date/month/year of birth, information about physical and/or mental disabilities, NIK biological mothers, NIK fathers, and some of the content on Important Events. Apart from this data, agencies outside the Ministry of Home Affairs and their staff can access population data without the authorization of data holders.

The Civil Society Working Group (Pokja) for Legal Identity Jakarta is currently preparing a proposal for the Academic Text and Draft Law on the Second Amendment to the Law 23/2006 on Population Administration. Pokja, consisting of the organizations IKI, PUSKAPA, LBH Apik, Gandhi, Perca, and Kemitraan, did this to resolve systematic problems in population administration services due to weaknesses in regulating the law on population administration. Proposals for Academic Texts and Draft Laws will be submitted to the government and parliament to be considered as part of the Draft Law, which would be drafted later.

In addition to trying to improve the weaknesses contained in the Population Administration Law, Pokja Jakarta also sought to incorporate initiatives in the Draft Law to improve population administration services. Some of these initiatives are granting the authority of the village government to assist in the implementation of population administration services, the interoperability of population data with other vital data, the expansion of the coverage of Vulnerable Population Groups, and the expansion of the authority of Civil Registration Officers in the District and Disdukcapil Technical Implementation Units.