Joint Press Release
The European Union and Indonesia hold
the 9th meeting of the Human Rights Dialogue
Jakarta, 27 May 2021
The 9th meeting of the European Union-Indonesia Human Rights Dialogue was held on 27 May 2021. Due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, the Dialogue took place by videoconference with Indonesia as host.
Both sides emphasized that the Dialogue was an opportunity to share concerns and experiences in a constructive spirit of openness and mutual respect as befits the Indonesia - European Union Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Respect for human rights is a fundamental value and a central pillar of both parties’ internal and external action. Both sides recognized the unprecedented consequences of the pandemic, especially for persons in vulnerable situations. During this 9th session, both delegations raised and constructively discussed a wide range of human rights topics of mutual interests and concerns, in a frank and cordial manners.
While acknowledging that challenges in the promotion and protection of human rights were not unique to one country, Indonesia reiterated its strong commitment to the rule of law, democracy, good governance and human rights, including its efforts to overcome the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The commitment by the Government of Indonesia is to implement a public policy that ensures civil, political and economic rights as well as social justice and at the same time to maintain public order and security with due regard for civil rights and fundamental freedoms.
Among its national programmes to mainstream human rights are the 5th generation of National Human Rights Action Plan and Kabupaten Kota Peduli HAM (Human Rights City/District Programme). Indonesia also shared its experiences in safeguarding religious tolerance, including through Forum Kerukunan Umat Beragama (Forum for Religious Harmony).The Indonesian authorities expressed their concerns about the increasing trend of acts of racism, xenophobia, hate speech, discrimination based on religion or belief, and Islamophobia. Indonesia emphasized that efforts to protect and promote freedom of speech should also ensure freedom of religion or belief and protection for religious or ethnic minorities.
Lastly, as a UN Human Rights Council member, Indonesia encouraged the international community to ensure health rights for all, including equal and affordable access to vaccines. Both sides also discussed the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment, especially as the pandemic has disproportionally affected women globally.
The EU side raised topics of concern such as the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, of religion and belief; human rights defenders; gender and LGBTI; trafficking in human beings; the death penalty, extra-judicial killings and the revision of the Criminal Code. The EU side also shared its human rights developments, for example, the adoption of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024, to reflect current challenges – including the human rights impacts of environmental degradation and new technologies.
Indonesia and the EU emphasized the need to implement human rights-based policies to address the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that any restrictive measures should be proportionate, temporary and not arbitrary or discriminatory.
Both sides agreed to explore future collaboration in many of these areas. Indonesia took note of the EU’s idea for the continuation of the engagement with civil society, including as preparation for future Human rights Dialogues, building on the positive experience in 2019.
The Delegation from the Republic of Indonesia was led by Mr Achsanul Habib, Director for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the Delegation of the European Union was headed by Mr David Daly, Head of Division, South-East Asia in the European External Action Service. The Dialogue was attended by representatives from relevant Ministries and Institutions in Indonesia and representatives from the EEAS and EU Member States.
The next meeting of the EU-Indonesia Human Rights Dialogue will be held in Brussels in 2022.