PRESENTATION AND LAUNCH OF MICROSITE ON CHILDREN IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW
The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia ON THE 18TH OF December 2010 gave a presentation on the handling of Children in Conflict with the Law. This was an initiative of the Embassy in cooperation with the the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Children in Conflict with the Law (C.C.L.) which was visiting Australia’s capital city.
The Deputy Chief of Mission, Mrs. Wiwiek Setyawati Firman, moderated the discussion which included presentations from Mr. Herman Siregar as Advisor to the Minister for Women’s Empowerment and the Protection of Children, Mrs. Erna Sofwan Syukri as member of Indonesia’s National Ombudsman, and Mr. Priyadi as head of the Children’s Restorative Centre in Tangerang. Also presenting on the experience of handling Indonesian children in Australia’s legal system was Mr. Hidayat as Consular Chief of the Indonesian Consulate in Darwin.
Afterwards, the Ambassador officially launched the microsite on the handling of Children in Conflict with the Law, which is part of the Indonesian Embassy’s website and is connected through an active link. This microsite also contains links to various other Indonesian Government website related to the protection and advocacy of Children in Conflict with the Law, specifically the Inter-Ministerial Working Group in C.C.L. After a brief tour of the site by the Information & Cultural Section, the program finished with lunch.
Members of the C.C.L. delegation from Jakarta conveyed their support to the microsite, and the Indonesian Embassy was praised for taking the initiative to build and strengthen links between the central institutions and the Indonesian embassies and consulates abroad through an interactive website that can serve as guidelines when faced with Indonesian children in conflict with local laws. This is seen as an integrated effort to enhance the national responsibility to process and protect the rights of Indonesian children when implicated in foreign laws.
One of the concepts introduced in this program was the need to strengthen the protection of Indonesian children in conflict with the law through a ”Restorative Justice” approach, and the need to eliminate the capture, detention and incarceration of children. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states the capture, detention and incarceration of children should only be done as a measure of last resort; an Ultimum Remedium. This also applies to children under the jurisdiction of Indonesian laws and foreign laws, because the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been universally ratified with 193 ratifying countries.
It is hoped that with this presentation and the visit of the delegation to Canberra the Indonesian Embassy and Consulates across Australia can fight for the interests of Indonesian children entangled with the law in their accrediated regions and territories, whether those children are treated by the authorities as suspects, witnesses or victims. The guidelines contained in the microsite can also serve as a comparison for local authorities when handling Indonesian children who become in contact with Australian laws. This program was attended by staff of the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, the Indonesian Ladies Association in the capital, and the Indonesian students and community who currently live in the A.C.T.
Canberra, 20 December 2010