Forced eviction, homelessness, and the right


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Paper presented to the International Conference on Homelessness: a Global Perspective, New Delhi, India 9 - 13 January 2006.

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Forced eviction, homelessness, and the right

  1. 1. Forced eviction,homelessness, and the right to housing in Indonesia Tjahjono Rahardjo Post Graduate Programme on Environment and Urban Studies Soegijapranata Catholic University, Semarang, Indonesia
  2. 2. Presentation Outline• Forced Eviction: Past and Present• Homelessness in Indonesia• The Right to Adequate Housing• Housing, the Kartu Tanda Penduduk (KTP) and Exclusion of the Poor• A Look at the Future
  3. 3. FORCED EVICTION: PAST AND PRESENT• Suharto’s new order (1968 – 1998), focused on promoting economic development and maintaining political stability• In practice this meant that: – labour strikes bannned – people forced to give up their lands and homes without any (or very little) compensations; many people became homeless
  4. 4. FORCED EVICTION: PAST AND PRESENT• Today, forced evictions continue on a massive scale, despite Indonesia becoming more democratic since 1988• In 2003 COHRE picked out Indonesia, as the country with the highest incidence of forced evictions (followed by Guatemala and Serbia & Montenegro)
  5. 5. FORCED EVICTION: PAST AND PRESENT)• 2000 – 2005: – All over of Indonesia 95,470 urban residents (19,000 households) evicted from their homes. In addition, more people have became homeless as a result of armed conflicts and natural disasters – In Jakarta alone more than 92,000 people forcefully evicted; another 1.5 million people in constant danger of being evicted
  6. 6. Despite its record in humanrights violation, i.e. the right to adequate housing, the City of Jakarta was awarded the 2005 UN Habitat Scroll of Honour
  7. 7. FORCED EVICTION: PAST AND PRESENT• January 2005: The “Declaration of Action on Developing Infrastructure and Public Private Partnership” was signed• In response to this declaration, the Indonesian government promised to facilitate investments by issuing new regulations, among them the controversial Peraturan Presiden (President Regulation) 36/2005 on land acquisition
  8. 8. FORCED EVICTION: PAST AND PRESENT• The President Regulation 36/2005: – Makes it possible for the government to arbitrarily and forcefully expropriate land, in the name of “public interest” – Is seen as benefiting large private investors at the expense of the people – Is considered harsher than the regulation in force under Suharto
  9. 9. HOMELESSNESS IN INDONESIA• Indonesia does not have any official definition for homelessness, but the 2000 national census categorised people into two groups: – those having a permanent place to stay (mempunyai tempat tinggal tetap) – those not having a permanent place to stay (tidak mempunyai tempat tinggal tetap)• included in the second category are residents of “illegal” settlements (permukiman liar), nomadic communities and boat crew members, besides pavement dwellers
  10. 10. HOMELESSNESS IN INDONESIA• For the purpose of this paper homeless people would be defined as adults (in contrast to street children) who are living permanently on the street (tunawisma), and those who are living in settlements categorised as “illegal” (permukiman liar)
  11. 11. HOMELESSNESS IN INDONESIA• Tunawismas more or less share the same characteristics of those living in permukiman liars: – Both work in the same informal occupations such as rubbish collectors, itinerant vendors, becak (pedicab) drivers, construction workers and other unskilled occupation (some tunawismas do make their living by begging) – Both are subject to raids, but the more violent evictions happen to squatters because usually it involves the sensitive issue of land ownership
  12. 12. THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING• Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948): “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control” (UDHR, article 25(1))
  13. 13. THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING• The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Right (ICESCR,1966): “The States parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The State Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-cooperation based on free consent” (ICESCR, article 11(1))
  14. 14. THE RIGHT TO ADEQUATE HOUSING• In Indonesia, Act 4/ 1992 on Housing and Settlement acknowledges the right of all citizens: “to live in and/ or to have the use of and/ or to own an adequate house located in a healthy, safe, harmonious and orderly environment”• According to the Act there are two aspects of housing adequacy: physical and legal
  15. 15. HOUSING, THE KTP AND EXLUSION OF THE POOR• All Indonesians above the age of seventeen should possess a Kartu Tanda Penduduk (KTP) issued by their respective local authorities.• Yayasan Humana (2001) “A KTP is the sole defining element for both inclusion and identity”
  16. 16. HOUSING, THE KTP AND EXLUSION OF THE POOR• KTP is an all important document affecting all aspects of life• not having a KTP, besides being a serious offense, means that one is not officially recognised as a citizen of one’s city, therefore having no access to public health care, education, housing, finance, etc, and vulnerable to eviction and expulsion
  17. 17. THE VICIOUS CIRCLE “…… without a home or a permanent place to no address stay it would be difficult for a person’s formal existence to be recognised (to have a KTP) ……” (State Minister of Popular Housing, 1994) no homeNo access to:• education no KTP• health care• bank loans• employment• government subsidies, etc
  18. 18. A LOOK AT THE FUTURE• Indonesia has ratified ICESCR in September 2005 (but with reservation towards article 1 and does not recognise articles 20 to 25): half hearted ratification?• systematic and structural corruption is still rampant in Indonesia: one of the ten most corrupt countries in world
  19. 19. A LOOK AT THE FUTURE• the Presidential Regulation 36/2005: eviction given a stronger legal basis• Indonesia’s economy not fully recovered from the 1997 crisis: a large number of people living in poverty
  20. 20. …more forced evictions, more homeless peoplein the foreseeable future…