United Nations Press Release
Commission on Human Rights
12 April 2001
Evening and Night
The Commission on Human Rights began discussion this evening of issues related to indigenous peoples, hearing from a series of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) alleging violations of the rights of indigenous groups in various parts of the world.
ESTER INDAHYANI JUSUF, of Asian Legal Resource Centre, said the multiple problems of ethnic and religious minorities, political segregation and xenophobia, which had plagued Indonesia for so long, still continued.
There were still 62 discriminatory regulations in the Indonesian legal system. Most of those were specifically targeted at the Chinese ethnic group. The regulations covered virtually all sectors of life, including economic, social, cultural, educational and religious life. Although President Wahid had abolished some regulations, those efforts had not gone far enough. One serious case involved the ethnic Chinese people from Tegal Alur in West Java. Most of these people did not have legal documents because the Indonesian bureaucracy and discriminatory regulations had robbed them of their citizenship.