Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini speaks at the 27th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) dialogue forum on Aug. 18, 2022. (Photo Courtesy of Social Affairs Ministry)

Indonesia’s Efforts on Ensuring Disability Rights

AUGUST 21, 2022

Jakarta. Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini earlier this week submitted Indonesia’s report on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The minister, better known as Risma, on Thursday spoke at the 27th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) dialogue forum. 

Risma took the floor to present what the Indonesian government has done to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. 

And embracing the 1945 Constitution, which states that every citizen is equal before the law, is among the steps taken to ensure disability rights in the country. In 2016, the government also passed a law on persons with disabilities, according to Risma. 

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"This law mandates that persons with disabilities have the right to justice and legal protection, including equality before the law," Risma told the 27th Session of the CPRD forum at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR) headquarters in Geneva on Thursday afternoon local time. 

Risma said that the government paid attention to cases of violence against people with disabilities. 

The Social Affairs Ministry provides free legal protection for the victims. Psychologists will also accompany the victims to help them recover from the trauma.

“The victim’s family receives a simple training on how to take care of the family member with a disability if they have to be treated at home,” Risma said.

On social aid, people with disabilities are among the beneficiaries of the conditional assistance program (PKH) and non-cash food assistance (BNPT). 

“There are 1,030,204 people with disabilities [from 935,978 families] registered on the social welfare integrated data in 2022,” Risma said while adding that social aid reached 22,500 people with disabilities last year.

People with disabilities living in poverty also receive assistance: be it in cash or food ingredients to be cooked by their family members or neighbors. As well as electric subsidies and health insurance.

Social aid is also going to those in remote areas. Risma then talked of MM, a girl who lives in Sitaro regency in North Sulawesi. According to Risma, MM had to take care of five adult family members. The Social Affairs Ministry then took the family to the city to get better healthcare.

Other initiatives include the "Indonesia Hears" campaign in which the government provides hearing aids and hundreds of smartphones that can convert audio into text. About 300 children across the country had cataract surgery under the “Indonesia Sees” campaign. 

The Southeast Asian country also has the “Indonesia Walks” campaign, which comprises the distribution of mobility devices such as electric wheelchairs, adaptive canes, modified electric three-wheelers, as well as water sensors for people with visual sensory disabilities. 

The government has distributed 3,738 of the said mobility devices in the first half of 2022. Last year, Indonesia saw 6,518 of these mobility devices delivered to people with disabilities. 

To improve mobility and accessibility, the Social Affairs Ministry also produced 354 three-wheelers in 2021. The number of three-wheelers made so far in 2022 has reached 60 units.

Risma said that the programs have helped many people with disabilities, while also boosting their economic capacity.  “For instance, Gading, a person with multiple disabilities who succeeds at selling beverages,” the minister added.

When it comes to disaster management, people with disabilities become a priority group for protection. And so Indonesia has established 1,446 disaster-resilient villages and 880 disaster-preparedness villages across 34 provinces.

Indonesia has formed the National Commission for Disability (KND) to monitor and advocate the fulfillment of the rights of people with disabilities. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated the seven KND commissioners last December.

A 24/7 command center is available for people with disabilities to submit inquiries or complaints of the social problems they are facing.

At the CPRD forum, the Indonesian government also had an opportunity to answer questions asked by other countries regarding the fulfillment of the rights of people with disabilities.

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