Realizing the inclusive ASEAN Community 2025

(photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Persons with disabilities are citizens with the same obligations and rights as other citizens. Based on the 2015 Intercensal Population Survey (SUPAS), the number of people with disabilities in Indonesia reached 21.5 million or 8.56% of the total population, which is currently estimated at 264 million. This number is believed to be smaller than the actual number considering that the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that 15% of the global population is currently counted as disabled.

At a national level, Indonesia has made some significant advances in its efforts to guarantee, fulfill, and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, with the passing of Law No. 8 of 2016 concerning Persons with Disabilities. Although detailed Government Regulations to implement it have not been completed until now, both the government and the Disabled Persons Organizations have continued their efforts to implement this legislation. At present, Law No. 8 of 2016 views disability more holistically, with a human rights framework. Disability is no longer seen as a condition of individuals but instead as the lack of access to the communities that hinders the fulfillment of their basic rights. This law also stipulates that all agencies have the duty to handle disability issues in their respective fields.

In line with this, at a regional level in Southeast Asia, the mainstreaming of people with disabilities has become a joint commitment with the adoption of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by member countries on 15th November during the 33rd ASEAN Summit, which was then launched by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) on 3rd December 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. This document contains 76 recommended Action Plans to serve as guidelines in mainstreaming disability persons into development policies and programs in each country.

Related to this, the Indonesian Disability Association (PPDI) through the Advocacy Program of the ASEAN Enabling Master Plan Advocacy in Indonesia (AEMAI) until 2025 has carried out a series of activities to contribute to Indonesia’s efforts in realizing the ASEAN community that is inclusive of persons with disabilities. From a policy advocacy workshop involving 15 organizations for persons with disabilities at the national level, three priority issues were formulated, along with an action plan that became a joint agenda, namely: (1) Legal protection, (2) Elimination of stigma and discrimination and (3) Employment. The workshop also recommended a multi-party synergy in its implementation. Data and information related to this matter are presented in the Joint Advocacy document, which has been used as source material with certain ministries and political parties.

Policy analysis has also been carried out to identify population administration for persons with disabilities as one of the key elements in the fulfillment of their universal rights. From this study, four main problems were identified, namely, accessibility in obtaining population documents, the lack of active and effective participation of persons with disabilities in the process of population administration, the minimal role of population administration in presenting accurate data, and misuse of terms. Complete study information and recommendations have been prepared as advocacy material for related parties.

“We invite the government, Disability Person Organisations, civil society organizations, development partner organizations, universities, the private sector, and the media to jointly socialize the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025 more broadly and contribute as much as possible, especially considering Indonesia’s duty to report on the progress of the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which will be submitted in 2020,” said the Chairperson of the Indonesian Disability Association (PPDI), Gufroni Sakaril.

Another urgent agenda item is the completion of Government Regulations as an implementation guide to the Disability Law No.8 / 2016. “A number of cases surfacing lately include sexual violence against persons with disabilities by siblings in Lampung, torture to death of children with disabilities by their friends at the West Kalimantan Integrated Children Service Center, and the polemic about the appointment of a dentist as a candidate for civil servant in West Sumatra – this should be more than enough for us to work hard to complete this agenda which has been delayed for more than a year from the initial target,” Gufron said.

Let us work together to create an inclusive Indonesia in the Southeast Asia region by 2025.