Convention on the Rights of the Child: How it is implemented in Indonesia?

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC), or in Indonesia referred to as Konvensi Hak-hak Anak (KHA), is a convention on human rights that guarantees children’s rights on civil, politic, economy, social, health, and culture. This convention was signed in 1989 by the United Nations. One year later, Indonesia ratified this convention. After a long wait, 12 years later Indonesia adapted this convention into its regulation, law no 23/2002 about Child Protection, and then later on 2014, revised into law no. 35/2014.

Based on the UNICEF Annual Report in 2016, some successful achievements on child rights fulfilment was made, for example the reduction of the number of children in jail, increasing access to birth certificates, child based budgeting, increasing access to education, etc. So, how did this process take place, from its ratification until now, where it has been implemented and translated into policy from the national to the regional level?

UN-CRC uses a broad and flexible approach. This is mentioned in article no 4 that stated all countries which ratified the convention should implement its provision with all appropriate measures. However, from the practical perspective this flexible and wide approach implies that the Convention does not have a method to enforce the implementation of its provisions, thus its implementation at the local level differs, depending on its social and political context.

After passing through different government regimes and orders, from the old order, new order, reformation era, until the regional autonomy era nowadays, and with its fickle social and political situation, the implementation of UN-CRC in Indonesia is really interesting to observe. The implementation can be observed from many different perspectives, starting from the regulations that are published during each government regime, the bureaucratic structures from central to local level, and the government approaches toward evidence based policy making on child protection and wellbeing.

This Learning Series will discuss the conceptualization and implementation of UN-CRC in Indonesia by inviting experienced child protection practitioners, academics, and policy makers on child protection. This discussion is expected to become a means of reflection on the achievements that the government has made in implementing UN-CRC, and identified key issues, opportunities, and challenges that need the government’s attention in improving the welfare of Indonesian children. This discussion becomes important, considering that the government of Indonesia is constructing a policy priority on Child Protection for RPJMN 2020-2024 (Medium-term development plan 2020-2024).