JAKARTA, June 18 (Jakarta Post/ANN): The government has pledged to push for a swift ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPED) in the House of Representatives, after more than a decade of delays.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD told the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) earlier this week that Indonesia was in the process of ratifying the convention.
The ICPED is the only one of the UN’s nine core conventions on international human rights that Indonesia has yet to ratify.
The other eight are on the elimination of racial discrimination (ICERD); the elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW); and the elimination of torture and inhuman treatment (CAT); as well as on the rights of people with disabilities (CRPD); on political rights (ICCPR); on social, economic and cultural rights (ICESCR); on children’s rights (CRC); and on the protection of migrant workers (ICMW).
In a press briefing on Thursday, Mahfud said the government’s plan had been welcomed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
The coordinating minister claimed the government would communicate with lawmakers to expedite the ratification of ICPED.
"We will tell [the lawmakers] that the bill has caught the attention of the UN Human Rights Council so it should be passed immediately," he said.
The House, however, has yet to schedule a meeting to process the ratification.
Abdul Kharis Almasyhari, deputy chairman of House Commission I overseeing defense, information and foreign affairs, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that the commission was focused on deliberations over the data protection bill and that it would not undertake any other legislation until those discussions were finished.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo sent a letter to the House on April 27 to resume the ratification process for the UN convention, two weeks before the House began its current sitting period.
The House’s approval of the ICPED has been pending since Indonesian representatives signed the treaty in September 2010, before it came into force in December of that year.
The government had planned to ratify the ICPED in 2013, but it was postponed after some political parties voiced their opposition to its adoption.
In August of last year, the government promised to restart the deliberation process and said it aimed to ratify the convention before World Human Rights Day, on Dec. 10, but the process was again delayed.
In December of the same year, the then-human rights instruments director for the Law and Human Rights Ministry, Timbul Sinaga, submitted a draft of the ratification bill to the Presidential Staff Office.
The draft required the signatures of four ministers, namely the coordinating political, legal and security affairs minister; Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly; Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto; and Foreign Minister Retno L. Marsudi, before being handed over to the president.
The ICPPED requires signatory governments to pass a law criminalizing enforced disappearance and also requires them to seek to determine the whereabouts of disappeared persons. - Jakarta Post/ANN