INDONESIAN MECHANISM TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW
1. Childhood is a vulnerable period, psychologically, children are not yet independent, are not yet fully aware, and their personality is not yet stable or not yet fully formed. In other words, their psychological state is still unstable, not independent, and easily influenced. Given this condition, children cannot be fully responsible for their own actions, because as perpetrators they are not pure perpetrators but also victims. This principle is clearly depicted in article 40 sub article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which provides that:
“States Parties recognize the right of every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child’s sense of dignity and worth, which reinforces the child’s respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others and which takes into account the child’s age and the desirability of promoting the child’s reintegration and the child’s assuming a constructive role in society”
2. Prior to the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1985 the international society through the United Nations has also adopted a principle that “The juvenile justice system shall emphasize the well-being of the juvenile and shall ensure that any reaction to juvenile offenders shall always be in proportion to the circumstances of both the offenders and the offence.”
(Rule 5.1 of the Beijing Rules)
3. According to the accompanying Commentary, the above-mentioned rule refers to two of the most important objectives of juvenile justice;
- The first objective is “the promotion of the well-being of the juvenile”, which should not only be emphasized by those legal systems in which juvenile offenders are dealt with by family courts or administrative authorities, but also “in those legal systems that follow the criminal court model” in order that they contribute “to the avoidance of merely punitive sanctions”.
- The second objective is the principle of proportionality, which in this particular context means that “the response to young offenders should be based on the consideration not only of the gravity of the offence but also of personal circumstances”, such as “social status, family situation, the harm caused by the offence or other factors affecting personal circumstances”. Such circumstances “should influence the proportionality of the reactions (for example, by having regard to the offender’s endeavor to indemnify the victim or to her or his willingness to turn to wholesome and useful life)”.
The principle of proportionality must however also be safeguarded in ensuring the welfare of the young offender so that the measures taken do not go beyond what is necessary, failing which the fundamental rights of the young offender may be infringed. In other words, Rule 5 “calls for no less and no more than a fair reaction in any given cases of juvenile delinquency and crime. The issues combined in the rule may help to stimulate development in both regards: new and innovative types of reactions are as desirable as precautions against any undue widening of the net of formal social control over juveniles.”
CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
4. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which entered into force on 2 September 1990 is the first legally binding instrument designed to protect and promote the rights of people under 18 years old. The Convention has now (as of 1 December 2010) achieved near-universal acceptance, with ratification by 193 parties. Its adoption by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989 is celebrated annually as Universal Children’s Day. Indonesia ratified the Convention in 1990 through the Presidential Decree no.36 of 1990.
5. Every child, without discrimination on any ground such as parental income, family circumstance, geography, disability, race or gender, has an equal right to enjoy the protection of the Convention and the rights it sets out.
6. The Convention sets out rights that children enjoy as human beings and also identifies special rights and protections they require during this vulnerable phase of their lives such as those children who are affected by the administration of justice through criminal, separation or adoption proceedings.
7. There are 54 articles in the CRC which have now become universal human rights, including those rights related to the administration of juvenile justice as stipulated by Articles 12, 37, and 40 which are the primary provisions in the Child Convention relevant to the administration of justice.
- Article 12
Safeguards each child’s right to be heard in legal proceedings
- Article 37 (Detention and punishment) provides that:
States Parties shall ensure that:
(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;
(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.
- Article 40 (Juvenile justice) further provides that:
1. States Parties recognize the right of every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's sense of dignity and worth, which reinforces the child's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others and which takes into account the child's age and the desirability of promoting the child's reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role in society.
2. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of international instruments, States Parties shall, in particular, ensure that:
a). No child shall be alleged as, be accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law by reason of acts or omissions that were not prohibited by national or international law at the time they were committed;
b). Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following guarantees:
(i). To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law;
(ii). To be informed promptly and directly of the charges against him or her, and, if appropriate, through his or her parents or legal guardians, and to have legal or other appropriate assistance in the preparation and presentation of his or her defence;
(iii). To have the matter determined without delay by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body in a fair hearing according to law, in the presence of legal or other appropriate assistance and, unless it is considered not to be in the best interest of the child, in particular, taking into account his or her age or situation, his or her parents or legal guardians;
(iv). Not to be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt; to examine or have examined adverse witnesses and to obtain the participation and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under conditions of equality;
(v). If considered to have infringed the penal law, to have this decision and any measures imposed in consequence thereof reviewed by a higher competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body according to law;
(vi). To have the free assistance of an interpreter if the child cannot understand or speak the language used;
(vii). To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings.
3. States Parties shall seek to promote the establishment of laws, procedures, authorities and institutions specifically applicable to children alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law, and, in particular:
a). The establishment of a minimum age below which children shall be presumed not to have the capacity to infringe the penal law;
b). Whenever appropriate and desirable, measures for dealing with such children without resorting to judicial proceedings, providing that human rights and legal safeguards are fully respected.
4. A variety of dispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counseling; probation; foster care; education and vocational training programmes and other alternatives to institutional care shall be available to ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being and proportionate both to their circumstances and the offence.
8. By ratifying or acceding to the Convention, national governments commit themselves to protecting and ensuring children’s rights as outlined in the Convention and they hold themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community.
9. Although the Convention on the Rights of the Child has achieved universal ratification and proved to be a major milestone in the universal promotion and protection of the rights of the child, numerous challenges remain to be overcome in many countries, including in Indonesia, before the rights of the child can become a living reality. In particular for those rights which are dealing with particular situations of children who are in conflict with the law. In Indonesia, the implementations of these rights are still problematic and need to be promoted through multi-pronged strategies in order to uphold the Convention’s principle “for the best interest of the child”.
10. Non compliance takes many forms and for many reasons from lacking of capacity of the law enforcers to in absence of laws, procedures and juvenile courts. To date, the following practices are still common;
- the minimum age of criminal responsibility which was set at eight years has resulted in the imprisonment of very young children,
- arbitrary detentions of “rescued” street children,
- the use of imprisonment for minor infringements of the law by very young children,
- children in conflict with the law undergo investigation without the presence of public defender or council,
- the practice of corporal punishment as a means of imposing discipline in juvenile prison,
- very large number of children sentenced to jail only for petty crimes and despite article 66, paragraph 4, of Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights,
- children are still often detained with adults,
- documents on child trials provided by police investigators in the context of Special Women and Children Units, using the Law on Child Protection, are still hampered by a lack of understanding among law enforcement officers (judges and attorneys), who have been accustomed to using the Indonesian Penal Code (KUHP) rather than the new Law on Child Protection. In fact, compared with the Penal Code, the Law on Child Protection guarantees sanctions even for minimal charges for perpetrators, thus carrying a deterrence effect,
- There is not yet a common perception among law enforcement officers regarding the handling of Children in Conflict with the Law for the best interests of the child,
- Limited facilities and infrastructure for the handling of Children in Conflict with the Law during the court process (pre and post judgment),
- Coordination among law enforcement officers, police, public prosecutors, judges, lawyers, correctional board/BAPAS, detention centers, correctional institutions, is still hampered by the existence of ego-sectoral constraints.
11. It is for these reasons that the Government is currently in the process of revising Law No. 3/1997 on Children’s Court (from the discourse of diversion, restorative justice, increasing the minimum age for the penalization of children from 8 to 12 years of age). In this context, the Government is undertaking efforts to bolster the role of the Penitentiary Agency (Bapas) in order to strengthen civil society’s studies/evaluations to further help judges in examining cases involving children.
12. The Government is also embarking on the development of 16 special child penitentiaries that are separated from adult prisons; formulating a model of the courts that is child friendly; as well as formulating restorative justice in Central Java and West Nusa Tenggara as a pilot project. These efforts are also being supported by the establishment of law enforcement networks (police, attorneys, judges, penitentiary boards, and legal aid foundations, with the Regional Bureau for the Empowerment of Women and Child Protection acting as the coordinator). At the early stage, this will be carried out in eight provinces in order to ensure the protection of children facing legal problems.
13. Aiming at further strengthening national compliance with the CRC, the Indonesian Government established a thematic relevant national human rights institution in addition to a National Institution for Human Rights. In this regard, the Commission on Child Protection was established in 2003 as one of the national mechanism to protect and promote the rights of children. However, this commission has no legal standing and no mandate to investigate any cases concerning the violation of child rights.
14. The Indonesian Government fully realizes of the intertwined relationship between birth registration and the implementation of juvenile justice and fully recognizes that the right to a name and nationality is well established and is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child through Article 7 which stipulates that every child has the right to a name, identity and nationality. Therefore, in 2005, the Indonesian Ministry of Home Affairs, which has responsibility for birth registration, established key guidelines for birth registration, including the policy, mechanism, requirements and standard forms to be used. The government has further committed for all children in Indonesia to be registered by 2011. The legal basis for the implementation of that policy has then strengthened by the Law no.23 of 2006 concerning Population Administration. However, the UNICEF - Indonesia data reveals that the number of local governments who have already introduced free of charge birth certificates has increased from only 16 districts in 2005 to more than 300 districts in 2009.
15. At the district level, UNICEF field offices have advocated the use of innovative strategies to increase the birth registration rate through adopting local regulations on “simplified procedure and free of charge birth registration” as well as developing birth registration networks with community volunteers, health post cadres, local and religious leaders, village midwives, and others. These networks facilitate timely submission for parents to fulfill requirements to register their child’s birth. UNICEF has supported the capacity building of policy makers from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, academicians, selected district and provincial registrars, and members of the Consortium on Civil Registration to understand the importance of birth registration, as part of the overall civil registration system as well as its role to fulfill fundamental children’s rights.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, UNICEF has also supported the
development of a Training Module on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics for civil registrars. This serves as the basis for more structured training for Indonesia’s transition to a functioning civil registration system.
16. The Indonesian Government consistently strengthens its effort to comply with the recommendation provided by the CRC committee to amend all the laws and local regulation in relation to birth registration as well as develop strategy to achieve 100% child birth registration by the year 2015. With the existence of Indonesia’s vibrant NGOs, the Government commits to strengthen its work at the community level to ensure that parents fully understand the importance and value of birth registration for their children.
STRENGTHENING THE PROMOTION AND THE PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF INDONESIAN CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW
17. Being a
ratifier country who ratifies of the Convention on the Rights of the Child Indonesia strongly upholds the principle that punishment for children is only of the form of ULTIMUM REMEDIUM which has been harmonized in the Indonesian Act on Human Rights No. 39 of 1999 (Article 66 section 3 and 4) and Act No. 3 of 2002 on Child Protection (Article 16 section 3). This principle has also been confirmed by the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in his article that appealed to judges “to avoid the detention of children and give priority to verdicts in the form of rather than from prison”.
18. In line with Indonesia’s commitment to strengthen the implementation of article 12, 37 and 40 of the CRC, on 22 December 2009, at the peak of the 81st Mother's Day Celebration, a Joint Decision of the six Government’s Ministers on the Handling of Children in Conflict with the Law, was signed and launched by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia, the Attorney General of the Republic of Indonesia, the Chief of the Indonesian National Police, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia, the Minister of Social Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, and the Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection of the Republic of Indonesia. This “Joint Decision” has been complemented by the trilateral Agreement between the Ministry of Social Affairs No. 12/PRS-2/KPTS/2009, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights No. M.HH.04.HM.03.02 on 2009, the Ministry of National Education No. 11/XII/KB/2009, the Ministry of Religious Affairs No. 06/XII/2009, and the Indonesian National Police No. B/43/XII/2009 on the Protection and Social Rehabilitation of Children in Conflict with the Law (dated 15 December 2010).
19. The joint decision provides a stronger legal basis to strengthen the capacity of all relevant state apparatuses - police, prosecutors, professional officers - to acquire appropriate skills to deal with children in conflict with the law in order to strengthen the State capacity to implement a juvenile justice system which is fully in line with article 37 (b) and article 40, paragraph 2 (b) (ii)-(iv) and (vii) of the Convention, as well as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules) and the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines), based on multi-tiered interventions of family-based, community-based and state-based care in order to promote the restorative justice approach.
20. The Government of Indonesia’s effort in promoting and protecting the rights of children in conflict with the law is supported by a solid legal basis provided in:
- The Constitution of 1945, Article 28 B section (2) and Article 28 H section (2)
- The Act No. 4 of 1979 on Child Welfare
- The Presidential Decree No. 36 of 1990 on the Ratification of The Convention on The Rights of The Child (State Gazette of The Republic Indonesia of 1990 Number 57)
- The Act No. 12 of 1995 on Community Affairs
- The Act No. 3 of 1997 on The Children’s Court (followed by the Attorney General of Indonesia Circular SE-002/j.a/4/1989 on the Prosecution of Children)
- The Deputy Attorney General for General Crimes Circular B-532/E/11/1995 (dated 9 November 1995) on Technical Guidance on the Prosecution of Children
- The Act No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights
- The Act No. 23 of 2002 on Child Protection (complemented by Presidential Decree No. 59/2002, on the National Action Plan to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor; and Presidential Decree No. 87/2002, on the National Action Plan to Combat the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children)
- The Act No. 23 of 2004 on Domestic Violence
- The Supreme Court Circular No. 1 of 2005 (dated January 2005) regarding the appointment of a Children’s Court Judge. Indonesian Supreme Court Chief Justice Circular MA/Kumdil/31/I/K/2005, regarding the obligation of each district court to provide a special courtroom & a special waiting room for children to be tried
- The MOU 20/PRS-2/KEP/2005 between the Directorate for Social Development and Rehabilitation of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Directorate General of Correctional Services of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights regarding extra-institutional counseling for children in conflict with the law
- The Act No. 13 of 2006 on Witness and Victim Protection
- Law No. 23/2006 on Population Administration
- The Act No. 21 of 2007 on The Eradication of Human Trafficking
- The Appeal from the Indonesian Supreme Court Chief Justice to refrain from the detention of children and prioritize sanctions other than detention (dated 16 July 2007)
- The Chief of Indonesian National Police Regulation 10/2007 (dated 6 July 2007), on the Women and Children’s Services Unit (WCS) and 3/2008, on the establishment of Special Service Unit RPK (Police Women’s Desk) and procedures for the examination of witness and victims
- TR/1124/XI/2006 (The Instruction Cable) from the Indonesian National Police’s Crime Investigation Agency (dated 16 November 2006) and TR/395/VI/2008 (dated 9 June 2008), regarding the implementation of diversion and restorative justice in the handling of juvenile offenders, as well as the fulfillment of the best interests of the child as a defendant, victim or witness
- The Agreement between the Ministry of Social Affairs No. 12/PRS-2/KPTS/2009, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights No. M.HH.04.HM.03.02 on 2009, the Ministry of National Education No. 11/XII/KB/2009, the Ministry of Religious Affairs No. 06/XII/2009, and the Indonesian National Police No. B/43/XII/2009 on the Protection and Social Rehabilitation of Children in Conflict with the Law (dated 15 December 2010)
- The Joint Resolution between the Indonesian Supreme Court Chief Justice, the Attorney General of Indonesia, the Chief of the Indonesian National Police, the Minister for Justice and Human Rights, the Minister for Social Affairs, the Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection, No. 166/KMA/SKB/XII/2009,No.148A/A/JA/12/2009, No. B/45/XII/2009, No. M.HH-08 HM.03.02 on 2009, No. 10/PRS-2/KPTS/2009, No.02/Men.PP and PA/XII/2009 on 22 December 2009 on Children in Conflict with the Law
21. The Government fully realizes that legislations alone are far from sufficient to guarantee the effective protection of the rights of Indonesian children in conflict with the law. It is for this reason that the right to participate of children as one of the main stakeholders in promoting and protecting the rights of children in conflict with the law should be strengthened. There are numerous initiatives and activities involving and led by children are put in place, such as:
(i). Children’s Forum
The establishment of the Forum was initiated by the government and Child Protection Agency. It provides a medium to discuss issues affecting children at the provincial and regency levels, which will be channeled to the people’s representatives at the provincial parliament. The Forum’s members are child representatives.
(ii). Youth Parliament
To familiarize the functions of the Indonesian Parliament system, a number of non-governmental organizations in collaboration with the Indonesian House of Representatives established
the a Youth Parliament in 2003. The Youth Parliament consists of an equal number of teenage girls and boys representing 50 high schools from five provinces of Indonesia. The Youth Parliament discusses various topics relating to; the history of the Indonesian Parliament; children; preparing legislation documents; decision making mechanisms.
(iii). National Conference on Children In the annual celebrations of National Children’s Day, the government organizes a National Conference for Children in collaboration with civil society, non-governmental organizations and stakeholders from all provinces of Indonesia. The Conference is attended by children representing each province of Indonesia and concludes with several recommendations on children’s issues, which are presented to the President of Indonesia during the ceremony of National Children’s Day on 23 July every year.
(iv). Children’s Participatory Forum In 2004, a Children’s Participatory Forum was held and resulted in two outcomes:
a). the enhancement of
developing the participatory capacity of children;
b). a document on children’s participation
(vi) Children’s National Consultation Meeting In 2005, the Government in collaboration with civil society and non-government organizations at national and provincial levels held a Children’s National Consultation Meeting discussing among others the theme of Child Abuse from a Child’s Perspective. Five recommendations resulted from the meeting and two children were elected to represent Indonesia in the Regional Consultation meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005.
(vi) Indonesian Youth Leaders Since 2004, the government has supported the election of youth leaders at state and regional levels. The objective of this activity is to (i) give recognition to teenagers under the age of 18 that have actively participated in socializing the rights of children; (ii) promote children’s awareness of their important role in the country’s future including their rights and obligations; (iii) enhance community participation in realizing the vision of an Indonesia Fit for Children. At every election, three representatives receive recognition from the President at the ceremony of the Children’s National Day. In 2006, the finalists of the elections took the initiative of establishing a Forum for Indonesian Youth.
INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS RELATED TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE
22. A series of standards provided by the international community aimed at promoting the protection of the rights of children in conflict with the law such as:
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), especially articles 37 and 40 (EN, FR, ES)
- United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The ‘Riyadh Guidelines') (adopted by the Assembly in its resolutions 45/112 and 45/113 on 14 December 1990) (EN, FR, ES)
- United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The ‘Beijing Rules') (adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 40/33 on 29 November 1985) (EN, FR, ES)
- United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (The ‘JDLs') (1990) (EN, FR, ES)
- Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System, ECOSOC Resolution 1997/30 (EN)
- Basic principles on the use of restorative justice programmes in criminal matters, ECOSOC Resolution 2000/14 (EN)
- Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No. 10 (2007) on “Children’s rights in juvenile justice” (EN, FR, ES)
- Resolution ECOSOC 2007/23: Supporting national efforts for child justice reform, in particular through technical assistance and improved United Nations system-wide coordination (EN, FR, ES)
- Human Rights Council Resolution (A/HRC/10/L.15) on human rights in the administration of justice, in particular juvenile justice (20 March 2009) (Latest version in EN)
International standards and norms on children as victims or witnesses:
- Guidelines on Justice in Matters Involving Child Victims and Witnesses of Crimes, ECOSOC Resolution 2005/20 (EN, FR, ES, ARABIC, CHINESE, RUSSIAN)
International standards and norms on crime prevention and criminal justice:
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), especially articles 6,9, 10,14 (EN, FR, ES)
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984), (EN, FR, ES)
- Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (The ‘Standard Minimum Rules') (1977) (EN, FR, ES)
- United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (The ‘Tokyo Rules') (1990) (EN, FR, ES)
- United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (1979) (EN, FR, ES)
- United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (1990) (EN, FR, ES)
International standards and norms on victims and witnesses:
- United Nations Declaration on Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, UN General Assembly Resolution 40/34 (1985) (EN, FR, ES)
- Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors (1990) (EN, FR, ES)
- Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (1990) (EN, FR, ES)
23. In addition to that, the United Nations’ Human Rights has also adopted Resolution 10/2 on Human rights in the administration of justice, in particular juvenile justice. The resolution encourages States that have not yet integrated children’s issues in their overall rule of law efforts to do so and to develop and implement a comprehensive juvenile justice policy to prevent and address juvenile delinquency as well as with a view to promoting, inter alia, the use of alternative measures, such as diversion and restorative justice, and ensuring compliance with the principle that deprivation of liberty of children should only be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, as well as to avoid, wherever possible, the use of pretrial detention for children (paragraph 9); The development of a comprehensive juvenile justice policy at the national level in line with relevant international standards is encouraged by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and guidance is provided in the Committee’s general comment No. 10 (2007) on children’s rights in juvenile justice.
Furthermore, in paragraph 6 of resolution 10/2, the Human Rights Council invites governments to provide for training, including anti-racist, multicultural and gender-sensitive and child rights training, in human rights in the administration of justice, including juvenile justice, for all judges, lawyers, prosecutors, social workers, immigration and police officers and other professionals working in the field of administration of justice, including personnel deployed in international field presences.
STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF MEDIA TO SUPPORT THE BUILDING OF CONDUSIVE ATTITUDES, CUSTOMS AND PRATICES FOR THE PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW
24. The Government of Indonesia upholds the view that children in conflict with the law should not be stigmatized as ‘wicked’ or threatening. The establishment of a solid juvenile justice mechanism should be supported by the public opinion which is not in favor of tougher responses and harsher sentences. The media plays strategic roles to promote restorative justice approaches to children in conflict with the law, through a series of interventions such as:
- Strengthening objective and responsible reporting of crimes committed by children
- Strengthening media coverage in all forms of abuses faced by children in contact with the law
- Supporting the Government in strengthening the involvement of community in the process of restorative justice
- Strengthening media campaign for law enforcement officials to be familiar with constructive approaches that make it possible to avoid formal arrest and detention of children in conflict with the law
- Strengthening media campaign for building the capacity and knowledge of juvenile judges, magistrates, social workers and police in the area of juvenile justice
- Strengthening media campaign and dissemination on international standards and norms on children in conflict with the law
- Strengthening media campaign to disseminate good practices by local governments all over Indonesia in implementing restorative justice for children in conflict with the law in their respective jurisdiction
- Strengthening media campaign to promote ongoing dialogue among relevant actors at the local level for both the government and nongovernmental entities in order to seek for the best and solid juvenile justice reform at the respective province
- Supporting data collection for accurate statistic on the number of children in detention, the proportion of those awaiting trial and trends in sentencing.
25. In line with the principle upheld in the Human Rights Council Resolution 10/2 in which it recognizes the links between development processes and the protection of human rights in the administration of justice and invites governments to include in their national development plans the administration of justice as an integral part of the development process, the Indonesian Government is in the process of strengthening its effort to encourage the involvement of all relevant stakeholders at all levels; the government, nongovernmental, academicians, religious leaders, women’s rights activists and the media for the promotion and protection of the rights of Indonesian children in conflict with the law as part of Indonesia’s national development plan in the judicial system.